Monday, June 23, 2008

Husband's Astrophotography--The Andromeda Galaxy

Here's another older pic. This was piggy-backed, again, by placing the camera on the tracking mount but not using the telescope itself. The item of interest here is the big fuzzy circle slightly down from center. It is obviously not a star. It is the Andromeda Galaxy.
The distance to the Andromeda Galaxy is immense: some 2,300,000 light years, but nonetheless its vast size and luminosity mean that it is still visible to the naked eye (in fact, it is the most distant object that can been seen without a telescope). Even so, much of the structure in its spiral arms is too faint to be seen, so that it appears smaller than it actually is: if we could see the entire galaxy, it would occupy an area of the sky nearly six times the size of the Moon's disc.

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