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Messier 31: The Andromeda Galaxy - 20200222 Dataset

October 13, 2020

Full Resolution Image

A much closer look at Messier 31! Messier 31, better known as the Andromeda Galaxy, is a large spiral galaxy located in the Andromeda Constellation. At an estimated distance of 2.537 million light years, Messier 31 is the nearest major galaxy to our own and appears to be on a collision course with our home galaxy, the Milky Way. This collision would result in a new galaxy called Milkdromeda. With an estimated star count of 1 trillion, this collision would result in a combined galaxy of 2.25 trillion stars. Fascinating Stuff!!

Messier 31 has many know designations, but the following are the most known: Andromeda Galaxy, Andromeda Nebula, M31 (Messier 31), and NGC224 (New General Catalog). The Andromeda Galaxy was named after the area of earth's sky that it occupies, the Andromeda Constellation, which in turn represents the princess Andromeda in Greek Mythology. Andromeda was chained to a rock and left to a sea monster to appease Poseidon after her mother Cassiopeia had boasted that her daughter’s beauty surpassed that of the sea nymphs. The princess was saved by Perseus, the Greek hero represented by the neighboring constellation. Interestingly, 2 of the neighboring Constellations to the Andromeda Constellations are the Cassiopeia Constellation, and the Perseus Constellation.

The Andromeda Galaxy has a total of 14 satellite galaxies, of which Messier 32 and Messier 110 are visible in this image. These are marked in the Annotated image below.

Full Resolution Annotated Image

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I was facing some seriously unfortunate weather for roughly 2 months. That, plus some travels forced me to reprocess a lot of my old data. This happily coincided with me finishing my website, so here we go. The goal of this is to see how much I have improved, actually finish some old projects, and continue practicing my processing techniques. All of my equipment, used software, and processing techniques will be listed below.


  • ASI1600MM-Pro
  • ZWO 31mm Filter Wheel +L,R,G,B,Ha,SII,OIII Filters
  • Meade 6000 70mm Quad APO
  • EQ6R-Pro
  • ZWO 30mm f/4 Mini Guide Scope +ASI290MM
  • Software:
    • DeepSkyStacker
    • Adobe Photoshop
    • RC Astro GradientXTerminator Plugin for Adobe Photoshop
    • Noel Carboni's Astro Tools Plugin for Photoshop
    • AstroBin for Annotated SVG File (PixInsight)
Date L R G B Dark Total Exposures Total Time
2020-02-22 15 x 60" @G179, O10 11 x 60" @G179, O10 11 x 60" @G179, O10 11 x 60" @G179, O10 15 x 60" @G179, O10 48 48 Minutes
          Total 48 48 Minutes
  • Location
    • Backyard: Comer, Georgia
    • 34°03'49"N 83°07'31"W (Closest Town)
    • Bortle Class 4
  • Weather
    • Average Moon Age at 28.49 Days
    • Average Moon Phase at 1.21%
    • Clear Skies

Image was Stacked and Calibrated in DeepSkyStacker.

All Processing Steps:

  • L, R, G, and B Images opend individually
    • GradientXTerminate MediumXMedium
    • Levels Adjustment
    • Arcsinh 1000 x2 Curves Adjustment
    • Levels Adjustment
  • R, G, and B combined into 1 RGB image
    • Levels Adjustment
    • GradientXTerminate MediumXMedium B
    • Levels Adjustment
    • Arcsinh 30 x1 Curves Adjustment
    • Crop
    • Curves Adjustment
    • Added L Layer as Luminosity
    • GradientXTerminate FineXHigh B
    • Curves
    • Astro Tool's Local Contrast Enhancment
    • Levels
    • Resampled
    • Saved, and DONE!

For those that read this far, THANK YOU! Please let me know how if you have any questions, or if there is something I can improve upon.