Designation: M31 / NGC 224
Distance: 2.5 million light years
Object type: Barred spiral galaxy
The Andromeda Galaxy is a large barred spiral galaxy sitting in the constellation Andromeda, approx. 2.5 million light years away from the Earth. It is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which includes our Milky Way and the Triangulum Galaxy.
The galaxy formed roughly 10 billion years ago from the collision and merger of several smaller protogalaxies, and it contains up to one trillion stars. Andromeda is on a collision course with the Milky Way, with the two galaxies approaching at a speed of around 110km per second. Should this speed remain constant, the merge will happen in about 4.5 billion years and will last around 2 billion years, resulting in a new giant galaxy that astronomers like to call Milkomeda! Read the article here.
In this image both Andromeda’s satellite galaxies are visible: the dwarf elliptical galaxies M32 (top left) and M110 (bottom right). In one of the galaxy’s outer arms on left instead lies NGC 206, the brightest star cloud in Andromeda as viewed from Earth.
Mount: Celestron Evolution
Main Telescope: William Optics ZS73EDii
Main camera: ZWO ASI183MC-Pro
Main camera filter: Optolong L-Pro + Optolong L-eNhance
Total integration time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Acquisition software: SharpCap Pro
Processing software: APP – PixInsight – GIMP