Messier 31/32/110 (M 31/32/100) - Andromeda Galaxy

Introduction | Map | Sketch | My Best Own Photos | My Own Observations | References | Appendix: My Own Photos

On this page I collect my observations of the Andromeda galaxy M 31 and its satellite galaxies M 32, and M 100 in the constellation Andromeda.

 

Introduction

The Andromeda galaxy M 31 in constellation Andromeda (but it rather is located between the constellations of Andromeda and Cassiopeia), is our neighboring galaxy and about 2.5 million light years away from us. Because it can be seen with the naked eye under good conditions (in which I have never succeeded yet), it is the most remote sky object that we can see with the naked eye. It can be seen in binoculars and in small telescopes as a diffuse shimmering elongated oval - and I have not been able to detect any details yet, although one should actually recognize the two small galaxies M 32 (like a star) and M 110 in a small telescope. In other words, light pollution is quite high in Mühlhausen / Kraichgau. Having a good night sky in France (September 2017), I was able so see a brighter core in binoculars (Trinovid). In the years thereafter, we were always able see M 31 there quite well in telescopes and binoculars.

With the Atik Infinity camera, however, I was able to find the galaxy M 32 in January 2018 for the first time ever. In January 2020, I actually saw the galaxy M 32 for the first time, namely in my C8 telescope - a fuzzy "corner star" in a quadrangle of stars. With the eVscope I was able to find both M 32 and fainter M 110 in early 2020 ; however, both do not fit into the field of view together with M 31.

February 2017 (Initial Observations)

After I had searched on the balcony for Praesepe with the binoculars on the second day, I just looked into the other direction, that is, to the west, to see whether I would not "stumble" over the Andromeda Galaxy M 31. I know more or less where it is in the sky, and in February, where the Andromeda is oriented vertically, the galaxy should be particularly easy to find (with binoculars because of the large section of the sky that they show...). And so it was! Since it was still quite bright in the west, the impression that the galaxy made in the binoculars was not overwhelming, but the galaxy was recognizable without any doubts. With the GSD 680 (8 "Dobsonian) on the terrace, I was unfortunately not able to find the galaxy (with the binoculars I was able to find it from there, too...). I had trouble to orient myself with the red-dot finder in this sky region, because the faint stars in the respective region were hardly or not at all visible in the finder.

On the third day, when I used the Heritage 100P on the GoTo mount, I found M 31, of course, but the galaxy was only faint; the same applied to my binoculars. Obviously, the sky in the west was still too bright... On February 18, I looked for M 31 using the GSD 680 for a second time, found it this time, and was able to see the galaxy well, but not in detail. The same applied more or less to the Heritage P130 on the GoTo mount (February, 26, new moon).

M 31      M 32      M 110
Size: 3° x 1° (Stoyan)
Distance: 2.5 million light years (Stoyan)
Rating: ***** (Stoyan)
  Size: 4' x 3' (Stoyan)
Distance: 2.5 million light years (Stoyan)
Rating: ** (Stoyan)
  Size: 10' x 5' (Stoyan)
Distance: 2.5 million light years (Stoyan)
Rating: ** (Stoyan)

 

Map

M 31, M 32, and M 110 between Andromeda and Cassiopeia (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

Overview map: Andromeda Galaxy M 31 (with M 32 and M 110) and Perseus Double Cluster NGC 884/869 (Image Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy, www.simulationcurriculum.com)

 

Sketch

The sketch by Michael Vlasov (DeepSkyWatch.com) provides a rough impression of what I observed (my impression was much fainter than the sketch):

Sketch of the Andromeda Galaxy by Michael Vlasov (Copyright © Michael Vlasov 2016) - presented with the author's permission

 

My Best Own Photos

Atik Infinity & Skymax-127 (January 14, 2018)

    

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from recording, processed

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from recording, processed

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from recording, processed

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from recording, processed

eVscope

M 31

         

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 31 - Sep 18, 2020

   

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

 

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

 

M 31 - Sep 18, 2020, processed

M 32

         

M 32 - Mar 18, 2020

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020

      

M 32 - Mar 18, 2020, processed

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

M 110

           

M 110 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 110 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

   

 

My Own Observations

Observations Summer to Autumn 2016

Observations February/March 2017

Observations September 2017

Observations October/November 2017

Observations January/February 2018

Observations September to November 2018

Observations September/October 2019

Observations January 2020

Observations February to September 2020

 

References

Websites

On this Site


Appendix: My Own Photos

Atik Infinity & Skymax-127 (January 14, 2018)

    

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), unprocessed*

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), post-processed*

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from recording, processed

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from recording, processed, darker variant

 

This more "aggressive" variant was started with auto-contrast and then changed slightly in the darks to make the background darker. As a result, the core is more washed out, but the fine structures are better to recognize, if one looks at the large version.

I found a similar version on astrojedi's blog, so I tried again and processed more "aggresively" to get closer to its result.

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from recording, processed, more "aggressive" variant

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from further recording, processed

 

M 31 and M 32 (top left, Andromeda), from yet another recording, processed*

Note that these photos show the complete image and that the large versions are in original size. This is due to the fact that the sky objects are extended - even beyond the field of view.

*) On these photos you can see M 32 as a fuzzy "corner star" in a quadrangle, similar to how I saw it in the C8 (however, reversed).

eVscope

M 31

         

M 31 - Feb 5, 2020

 

M 31 - Feb 5, 2020, processed

 

M 31 - Feb 6, 2020

      

M 31 - Mar 17, 2020, denoised, clouds

 

M 31 - Mar 18, 2020, wrong label

 

M 31 - Mar 18, 2020, ditto, processed

      

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 31 - Sep 7, 2020

   

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

 

M 31 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

 

M 31 - Sep 7, 2020, processed

   

M 31 - Sep 14, 2020

 

M 31 - Sep 14, 2020

 

M 31 - Sep 18, 2020

   

M 31 - Sep 14, 2020, processed

 

M 31 - Sep 14, 2020, processed

 

M 31 - Sep 18, 2020, processed

M 32

         

M 32 - Mar 17, 2020, clouds

 

M 32 - Mar 17, 2020

 

M 32 - Mar 17, 2020, processed

         

M 32 - Mar 18, 2020

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020

      

M 32 - Mar 18, 2020, processed

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

 

M 32 - Aug 24, 2020, processed

M 110

         

M 110 - Mar 17, 2020

 

M 110 - Mar 17, 2020, processed

  M 110 - Mar 18, 2020, processed
           

M 110 - Aug 24, 2020

 

M 110 - Aug 24, 2020, processed