Barred Spiral Andromeda Galaxy

October 21, 2012

M31_Web (2)sept13

Photographer: Karsten Moller
Summary Authors: Karsten Moller; Jim Foster

The image above shows the splendid Andromeda Galaxy (M 31), about 2.5 million light years away. Approximately one trillion stars shine in this barred spiral galaxy -- perhaps two and a half times the number in the Milky Way. Don't expect it to look this brilliant through a small telescope or a good pair of binoculars. Color and detail such as this result from long exposure times. M31 is the largest galaxy in the local group of more than 50 galaxies -- the Milky Way is the second largest member. Image acquired on August 17, 2012.

Photo details: 2 h 40 min exposure time; with DSLR on an ED80 refractor telescope.