CCDStack, Photoshop CS w/ the Fits Liberator plugin, Russell Croman's GradientXTerminator and Noel Carboni's actions.
CCDStack to calibrate, register,
normalize, data reject & combine.
non-linear stretching and the color combine.
North is to the right.
The Andromeda Galaxy,
also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224 is a spiral galaxy
approximately 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation
Andromeda. It is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way.
M31 is visible as a faint smudge on a moonless night, and is one of
the farthest objects visible to the naked eye. M31 can be seen with
binoculars in urban areas. Andromeda is also the largest galaxy in
our Local Group.
To the lower right is the small elliptical satellite galaxy M110. At
the left of M31's core is another satellite galaxy, M32.
M31 and the Milky Way are orbiting around each other and astronomers
are pretty much convinced a collision is inevitable. Current
estimates indicate this will occur in about 3 billion years. To call
it a collision is somewhat an exaggeration. Very few solid bodies
will actually hit each other. Our Sun and solar system are expected
to survive the collision and merger.