M 31

Click photo to see a larger image.
 Largest Image (2 megs)

Description: The 'Andromeda Galaxy' is the nearest large galaxy to our own. It was described by the Persian astronomer Al-Sufi in 964. It is unusually rich in globular clusters for a spiral galaxy, harboring at least 500 of them. M 32, the bright globular cluster above and slightly left of the nucleus of M 31, is responsible for some of the disturbances in the spiral structure of M 31.The black hole at the center of this galaxy has a mass of about 30 million Suns. It is possible that the center of M 31 contains two nuclei.
Constellation: Andromeda
Distance: ~2.5 million light years
Apparent Size: 3.1o x 1.0o
Date: 25-27, 29 september 18, 21, 24 october 24 november 2006
Equipment: AP155, ST10XME, AP1200
Total Exposure: RGB: 7.5-6.25-8.5 hours, unbinned (Astrodons)
Note: This is my first mosaic and as such it shows the missteps of one's learning. It is composed of 9 separate exposures. The Largest Image is a half-sized version of the original.