A stunning portrait of Andromeda

The Andromeda Galaxy, or M31, is a favorite target and a challenge for amateur astro-imagers. CAA member Lonnie Dittrick was up to the challenge and produced this impressive portrait of the Milky Way’s immense neighbor.

CAA member Lonnie Dittrick recently produced a stunning image of the Great Andromeda Galaxy, aka M31. Here’s his story:

“The wife and I visited Cherry Springs {state park in Pennsylvania} during New Moon and had one excellent (and cold) night of stargazing and imaging (had taken time off anyways for Black Forest Star Party).  I had just finished modifying my Canon XSi and wanted a redo of M31 (done previously at home in Olmsted Falls) but now under pristine skies! Imaging was done with a Stellarview 70mm Apo refractor, consisting of 77 subs, two minutes each at 1600 ISO.”

By the way, Dittrick made the astronomical imaging modification to his Canon camera by himself — not a job for the fainthearted!

Andromeda from Up North

Photo: Andromeda Galaxy by David Nuti
Andromeda Galaxy with Two Satellite Galaxies

On a recent trip to the back woods of Canada, CAA member David Nuti did a little fishing and a little stargazing. We don’t know how the fishing went, but when it came to sky-watching, the “big one” did not get away. Nuti shared a beautiful astrophotograph with the membership and we’re sharing it here: the Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31) appears as a beautiful cloud in the center of this image. Closer inspection reveals he caught a couple of Andromeda’s “satellite galaxies” — smaller “island universes” captured by Andromeda’s enormous gravitational attraction. Messier 110 (M110) is seen here as a glowing spot directly above Andromeda’s glowing center. M32 appears as a golden spot little below and to the right of the galactic giant. Some curving structure may be seen in Andromeda’s faint disk of stars and dust.

Photographic Notes: Nikon D5000, f/5.6, 181 seconds, ISO 3200, 300mm lens — 450mm equivalent