M31 – Andromeda Galaxy


High resolution, png format.


I’ve wanted to take a photo of Andromeda Galaxy ever since I saw it portrayed in an episode of Star Trek, back in the 1970’s. This image was taken in August, 2023, from my backyard observatory in Pleasant Hill. At a distance of only 2.5 million light years, Andromeda is our closest major galactic neighbor, and looks to be a little larger than our own galaxy – the Milky Way. It’s currently speeding toward us, on a collision course, which means at some point we’ll have difficulty getting the whole galaxy into a single frame. Our galaxy is thought to have a similar spiral shape, so maybe there’s a backyard observatory in an Andromeda star system that just published a comparable photo of us. There are two fairly obvious satellite galaxies visible here also – M32, (top and left of center), and M110, (below and to the right).