Andromeda Galaxy 2010

The Great Andromeda GalaxyIf you have followed previous blog posts you know that I have been working on this image for some time.  I apologize that I did not provide more intermediate updates, but here is the final image as it will be printed on my Epson 7800.  You may want to reference earlier posts about making a print of Andromeda beginning on September 15.  You can see the initial RAW image at initial capture and compare to the finished image.  As Ansel said, "you don't take a photograph, you MAKE a photograph."

It is always a pleasure to revisit familiar astronomical objects and the Great Andromeda Galaxy is certainly one of the finest.  This past August we had the opportunity to capture the galaxy from the fabulous dark skies of The Mountain Institute on Spruce Knob in West Virginia during the Almost Heaven Star Party.  The galaxy is a marvel to behold as one of our local neighborhood galaxies that stretches over 220,000 light years across.  It is the farthest deep sky object that can be seen with the unaided eye and is located at a distance of over 2,000,000 light years away.  The galaxy is easily seen from the dark skies of Spruce Knob with the unaided eye.  The diffuse glow of the galaxy is caused by billions of stars shining throughout the galaxy's disk.  Andromeda is classified as a spiral type of galaxy.  For more information and to view the image in the black portfolio screen (the best view) please click here.