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M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

Submitted on 2010-01-11


Full size image (3320x2490, 775.65kB)

The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is a spiral galaxy approximately 2,500,000 light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own, the Milky Way. As it is visible as a faint smudge on a moonless night, it is one of the farthest objects visible to the naked eye, and can be seen even from urban areas with binoculars. Andromeda is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which consists of the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 30 other smaller galaxies. The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that M31 contains one trillion stars, several times more than the number of stars in our own galaxy, which is estimated to be 200-400 billion.

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Object details

Catalog numbersM31, NGC 224, UGC 454, PGC 0002557, 2C 56 (Core), LEDA 2557
Object typeGalaxy
Surface brightness13,5 mag/arcmin▓
Distance2.54 ▒ 0.06 Mly
RA00h 42m 44.3s
DEC+41░ 16′ 9″

Technical Details

MountSkywatcher HEQ5 SkyScan
FiltersBaader Luminance
TelescopePentax 75SDHF
Sky conditionsmag 5 sky
Exposure31x10min L