Here’s the first astrophoto I’ve published since the spring. This is a spiral galaxy called NGC 7331 and its located approximately 40 million light-years away from Earth. This galaxy is similar in size and structure to our own galaxy and is sometimes called the Milky Way’s twin. The fuzzy dots surrounding the picture are also galaxies, there are three prominent ones that appear to be hovering above the main galaxy in this photo. In reality they are just much farther away and that’s why they appear smaller. There are several other galaxies scattered around the picture. These are just a few of the 200 or so billion galaxies in our Universe, each containing about 100 billion stars.
The image above was cropped in order to show the galaxy in higher resolution. The full un-cropped image is below.
Image Details for Galaxy NGC 7331
RGB: 3 hours each
Luminance: 6 hours
Total exposure: 3 + 3 + 3 + 6 = 15 hours!
Camera: Apogee U16M
Guider: SBIG 402 with MMOAG Off Axis Guider
Telescope: RCOS 14.5
Mount: Paramount ME
Location: Auberry, CA
Date: Over Multiple Nights in October 2014
Software: The SkyX, MaximDL, FocusMax, CCDAutoPilot, CCDStack, Photoshop