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M 31 The Andromeda Galaxy

M 31 The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth and 228,000 light years across, and located in the Andromeda constellation. M31 is often referred to as the “Great Andromeda Nebula  in older textbooks. The Andromeda Galaxy is known as the nearest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy, but not the closest galaxy overall. The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains our own Milky Way, and there about 30 other smaller galaxies in the group. In this image you can see two other Galaxies most predominant (M110) is the one visible just below center of the massive Andromeda Galaxy and another is Just above and to the right (M32) witch appears to be on the outer arms of Andromeda . Although the largest in area, the Andromeda Galaxy may not be the most massive, recent research suggests that the Milky Way contains more “Dark Matter” and because of the “Dark Matter” it could be the determined to be the most massive in the group. The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that M31 contains one trillion stars, at least twice the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy.



It has been suggested that The Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy are about equal in mass, while a 2006 study put the mass of the Milky Way at about 80% of the mass of the Andromeda Galaxy. The two galaxies are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years, eventually merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy.

With an apparent magnitude of 3.4, the Andromeda Galaxy is noted for being one of the brightest Messier objects, it is visible to the naked eye on moonless nights even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution, and only the brighter central core is visible to the naked eye or when viewed using binoculars or a small telescope

This image was taken in September 2005

This image consists of :    L, 30 X 8mins      RGB, 22 X 8mins 

Equipment:      Software: Site:
Tak FS60-CF
Meade LX200 GPS
Maxim DL 4
The Sky 6
Photo Shop CS2

Oak Hills Observatory
Hesperia, California