August 06, 2008
The image above shows the spectacular Great Andromeda Spiral Galaxy (M31). M31 is the nearest regular galaxy to our own Milky Way It is also considerably larger than our spiral galaxy. Though it's more than two million light years distant, because of its brilliance and huge size, it is faintly visible to the naked eye from rural locations. Look for it beginning in late summer in its namesake constellation of Andromeda. This image was taken this past winter at the New Forest Observatory, Hampshire, U.K. by Greg Parker, and expertly processed by Noel Carboni, Florida.
Photo details: This image is the result of 26 hours total exposure in red/green/blue (RGB) light and H-alpha data -- H-alpha making up around 7 1/2 hours of data. H-alpha is the emission wavelength of hydrogen (656.281 nanometers -- in the red portion of the electromagnetic spectrum).