M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy over two seasons

M 31

The Andromeda Galaxy

Oxygen-emitting clouds near the Andromeda galaxy


Why are there oxygen-emitting arcs near the direction of the Andromeda galaxy? No one is sure. The gas arcs, shown in blue, were discovered and first confirmed by amateur astronomers just last year. The two main origin hypotheses for the arcs are that they really are close to Andromeda (M31), or that they are just coincidentally placed gas filaments in our Milky Way galaxy. Adding to the mystery is that arcs were not seen in previous deep images of M31 taken primarily in light emitted by hydrogen, and that other, more distant galaxies have not been generally noted as showing similar oxygen-emitting structures.

This galaxy, M31, is often imaged by planet Earth-based astronomers. As the nearest large spiral galaxy, it is a familiar sight with dark dust lanes, bright yellowish core, and spiral arms traced by clouds of bright blue stars. A mosaic of well-exposed broad and narrow-band image data, this deep portrait of our neighboring island universe offers strikingly unfamiliar features though, faint reddish clouds of glowing ionized hydrogen gas in the same wide field of view. Most of the ionized hydrogen clouds surely lie in the foreground of the scene, well within our Milky Way Galaxy. They are likely associated with the pervasive, dusty interstellar cirrus clouds scattered hundreds of light-years above our own galactic plane. Some of the clouds, however, occur right in the Andromeda galaxy itself, and some in M110, the small galaxy just below.

The Andromeda Galaxy in Andromeda


Technische Karte


ObjektM 31 / M 32 / M 110
Imaging telescopesCelestron Rowe-Ackermann Schmidt Astrograph 11″
Montierung iOptron CEM60, iOptron CEM120
NachführungSkywatcher Evoguide 50ED, QHY174M
FilterBaader 3.5 / 4nm f/2 Ultra-Highspeed-Filter-Set 50mm² (H-alpha / O-III), Baader L, R, G, B (50mm²)
ZubehörBaader UFC, Baader UFC-Tilter,  Celestron Focus Motor for SCT
Aufnahmedauer146.3 hours (H-alpha: 1140×120″+ 220×180″, O-III: 1100×180″, Luminance: 1200×60″, Red: 330×90″, Green: 272×90″, Blue: 292×90″)
AufnahmedatumBetween September 2022 and November 2023


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