Andromeda Galaxy – M31

In Astrophotography by Matt Shetzer

Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy, or M31, is a large barred spiral galaxy located about 2.5 million light-years away from Earth. and the nearest large galaxy to the Milky Way. Andromeda contains over 1 trillion stars and has a radius as wide as 11,000 light years. The Andromeda Galaxy is six times larger than the moon.

Cataloged as Messier 31 or NGC 224, this deep sky object is observable for much of the year in the northern hemisphere, lying in the constellation Andromeda, next to Cassiopeia.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the brightest galaxy you can see with your naked eye appearing as a smudge of light in the Andromeda constellation. What you are seeing visually is its extremely bright core. With a telescope, you will see the detail and the dust lanes between the spiral arms of the galaxy.
In 4-5 Billion years, The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide merging to form a massive elliptical or lenticular galaxy.

Messier 31, also shows its satellite galaxies, Messier 110 and Messier 32.


ObjectAndromeda Galaxy
Wiki Link
Other Names contained in imageMessier 31, M31, NGC 224,Andromeda Galaxy
Imaging telescopes or lensesTakahashi FSQ -106ED4
Imaging camerasQHY268M
MountsSoftware Bisque Paramount MYT
Focal reducersNone
SoftwareSoftware Bisque The Sky X, PHD Lab PHD2, Voyager, Viking,  PixInsight, Photoshop, Lightroom
FiltersAstrodon LRGB Gen2 E-Series Tru-Balance  36mm unmounted. Chroma Technology Narrowband 3nm Ha, SII, OIII – 36mm Unmounted
AccessoriesMoonlite NightCrawler 35 focuser, Maxdome II, Digital Loggers Pro Switch, Sky Alert Weather Station, Pegagsus Ultimate Powerbox v2, Starlight Xpress filter wheel.
Guiding Telescope or LensesOrion 60mm Guide Scope
Guiding CameraZWO ASI224MC Guide Camera
Imaging Dates12/18/21, 12/19/21, 1/22/22, 1/23/22, 1/30/22
FramesLuminance: 36×300″ (3h)  Gain 25, Photographic Mode, Temp -25C, Bin 1×1
Red: 20×300″ (1.6h) Gain 25, Photographic Mode, Temp -25C, Bin 1×1
Green: 20×300″ (1.6h) Gain 25, Photographic Mode, Temp -25C, Bin 1×1
Blue: 20×300″ (1.6h) Gain 25, Photographic Mode, Temp -25C, Bin 1×1
Ha: 10×1200″ (3.3h) Gain 60, High Gain Mode, Temp -25C, Bin 1×1
Integration11.5 hours
Flats19 per Filter
Flat Darks40
Bortle Dark-Sky Scale:2
RA center00 42 41.722
DEC center41 16 55.69
Pixel scale3.76
Resolution6280 x 4210
LocationsSirus 3.5m Observatory, Carbondale Colorado
Data sourceBackyard
Post Processing TechniquesPixInsight to Photoshop to Lightroom
Median FWHM PixelsL 2.598, R 2.517, G 2.45, B 2.748, Ha 2.613
Andromeda Galaxy – M31 was last modified: September 6th, 2022 by Matt Shetzer