Andromeda Galaxy from the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve, Portugal
August 14, 2014
Shown above is a wide-field image of the glorious Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken from the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve in Portugal. For observers in the Northern Hemisphere, M31 can be detected above the eastern horizon during the early morning hours in late summer. Though the Andromeda Galaxy is approximately 2.5 million light years away, it's visible with the naked eye from very dark locations. It's estimated to be 50 percent bigger than our own spiral galaxy, containing perhaps a trillion stars -- likely triple the number in the Milky Way. Photo taken on July 27, 2014, at 4:10 a.m.
Photo details: Canon 60Da camera; ISO 2000, 45 second exposure; at f/2.8; with a Canon telephoto lens series L at 200 mm; Travel mount Vixen Polarie. Sum of 51 pictures combined in Maxim DL 5 with a total time integration of 38 minutes.