M31 – the Andromeda Galaxy


Ian Russell

Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire

Scope: Tak FSQ85ED with 0.73 x Takahashi reducer giving an effective focal length of 328mm at f/3.86
Camera: Atik 490ex
Mount: iOptron CEM60-EC
Guiding: Atik OAG, PHD2, QHY5L-II

I have tried to image the Andromeda Galaxy before but couldn’t quite fit the entire object in the field of view. Now that M31 is again well placed in the sky it gave me the perfect opportunity to test out a focal reducer on my Takahashi FSQ85 which frames this beautiful galaxy nicely.

I captured this data – 18 x 180second subs in each RGB channel – on a clear but windy night with typical (i.e. rather poor!) sub-urban seeing so I was very pleased with how the image came out. It’s astrounding to think that the light from more than a trillion stars is captured in this image – it’s very humbling – and I am always amazed at the amount of dust that is visible in spiral arm galaxies.