Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

Recent Images
   Natural Color
   Narrow Band
Solar System
My Freeware
Tips & Tricks
Published Images
Local Weather


Send Email






M31 ( The Andromeda Galaxy )

Click the image for a 3/4 size, 4.7 arcsec/pixel, display. (2250 x 1500)



Takahashi FSQ-106ED @ f/5.0 (530 mm F.L.)  Captured at 3.5 arcsec/pixel.  Shown resampled to 14.1 arcsec/pixel.


Paramount ME


SBIG STL-11000 w/ internal filter wheel, AstroDon Filters

Acquisition Data

10/2/2008 to 10/8/2008  Chino Valley... with CCDAutoPilot3


Lum    300 min.  (30 x 10 min. bin 1x1)
RGB    270 min.  ( 9  x 10 min. bin 1x1) each


CCDSoft, 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.

PhotoShop for 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.