M31 and Mayall II

M31 galaxy in Andromeda is both very large and also close to us. It makes it a hard fit into field of view of medium and large scale setups. That’s why in last star party in Zatom I decided to image it with wide field setup. Under dark sky it was enough to make two hours of exposure to achieve decent outcome. Image below is LRGB composite made with Samyang 135 lens and QHY163M camera. Subframe exposure time was 2 minutes.

M31 galaxy in Andromeda. Plus M32 and M110.

Large version http://astrojolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2017-09-21-M31.jpg

As you probably know well M31 has two satellite galaxies – M32 and M110. These are two blobs, one below center, and another one larger above M31. But as every wealthy galaxy M31 is surrounded with globular clusters of stars. There are 90 confirmed globular clusters around M31, and the largest is G001, also called Mayall II. It is real monster, two times larger than Omega Centauri. Even from almost 3 million light years distance Mayall II spans across sky to half of arc minute and is 13.7mag bright. I wondered if globular clusters in M31 have been recorded at this image made with telephoto lens, but apparently they did. In the enlarged crop below I annotated Mayall II and a few other globular clusters in M31. The one named G26 has apparent brightness 18.2mag and still was recorded at this relatively short exposure time and wide field telephoto lens – dark skies are amazing!

M31 enlarged crop with annotated few globular clusters.

Large version http://astrojolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/M31-closeup.jpg

And here is full frame in full resolution if you would like to take a look http://astrojolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/M31-full.jpg

Clear skies!

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