Photo of the Week for July 28, 2017
As our Milky Way arches overhead on summer evenings, another galaxy is entering the celestial stage from the northeast: the Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31. It’s appropriate that both should appear at the same time since they’re closely related. Not only are they on a slow-motion collision course, at a distance of 2.5 million light years, the Andromeda spiral is the Milky Way’s nearest large neighbour. Indeed, you can think of M31 as our galaxy’s bigger brother—it’s twice as large and likely has far more than double the number of stars.
Ingersoll, Ontario, imager Scott Fairbairn captured this wonderfully detailed view of M31 with a Hutech modified Canon EOS 60D DSLR camera attached to a Sky-Watcher ED80 apochromatic refractor telescope fitted with a 0.8× focal reducer. The final image integrates a total of 25 hours exposure time.