The Andromeda Galaxy 2007
It has been a real nice weekend but,unfortunately I have to go back to work tomorrow….Booooo!.We have had a decent weekend for observing and I was even able to take the scope out again last night.Being like a game at a casino my observing seemed to crap out.The night started great and the scope performed like a champ until,I decided to play with the new Meade DSI.I had only taken a few images with the Pentax ist DS digital camera when I got the bright idea to play with the new imager and that is when the night turned for the worse.For some unknown reason the new program kept freezing up on my Pc sooooo,I went ahead and uninstalled then reinstalled the software.Heh,big mistake!.I couldn’t get the camera to cooperate to save my life and by the time I was finished messing with the Pc,several hours had gone by and the moon had risen high enough to washout the sky.
The skies last night were actually really good or as good as they can get here in the middle of town.I saw some faint dark lanes in the Milkyway but,had the usual high light domes to my North and to the west.The South would have been better if I didn’t have to fight with a street light.The East looked good but had ambient light bouncing off of the house and some tree’s.Heh,now you have a idea of my seeing conditions on any given night!.Oh and if I have never mentioned….I have a big 3 story brick building about 20 meters to my West!.If you look at the “My equipment” post you will notice the large building that I am talking about.
Below is a half hearted image that I took of M31 a.k.a Andromeda galaxy.Also included are M110 and M32.The image was a 68 second image at ISO of 400 taken with a Pentax ist DS DSLR.I used PS Elements for post processing.
The Andromeda galaxy can be found by lookin to the NNE at around 11pm in the northern hemisphere.It has a visual mag of about +3.4 under dark skies.It is approximately 2.3million lightyears distant which is probably the farthest object in the night sky visible to the naked eye.M31 is approaching the Milkyway at almost 64 miles per second,which should put on a spectacular but messy show for us in the far far distant future.The most likely scenario will be for both galaxies to side swipe each other,shreading the outer arms of both galaxies creating long strings of stars and gas much like M51.Until gravity eventually draws both galaxies together to form one huge galaxy.
Image credit: ME!!!!