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Look: Stargazer Snaps Breathtaking New Photo of Andromeda Galaxy

Gorgeous image of a neighboring galaxy
Related: Space
Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014

The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31 (M31), is located 2.5 million light years from our own Milky Way. The image was shot on Dec. 6 and 15, 2013 from Las Cruces, N.M. (Jeff Johnson)

The Andromeda Galaxy takes center stage in this spectacular image captured by an amateur astronomer during a holiday stargazing session.

Astrophotographer Jeff Johnson took advantage of some clear night skies and holiday leave to capture this remarkable view of the Andromeda Galaxy from Las Cruces, N.M.

"In December -- after 6 months of poor weather here in Las Cruces [March to September] -- I was able to get out during a week of leave I had from work," Johnson wrote SPACE.com in an email. [See more amazing Andromeda Galaxy].

Johnson created the image from Andromeda observations recorded on Dec. 6 and 15. He used a Takahashi FS-60C @ f/6.2 telescope, Takahashi EM200 Temma II mount, QSI 540wsg@ -15C camera, with Astrodon Ha (3nm), Astrodon Tru-Balance I-Series LRGB Gen 2 filters and SX Lodestar guider. A version of the image that switches between Ha and non-Ha can be found on Johnson's website here.

The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31 (M31),is located 2.5 million light-years from our own Milky Way. A light-year is the distance light travels in one year, about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). Our closest neighbor, M31, contains hundreds of billions of stars and is visible with the naked eye. Together, the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies.

To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo or video that you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

Follow SPACE.com on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also on Facebook & Google+. Original story on SPACE.com.

RELATED ON SKYE: Mind-Blowing New Photos from Space


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January 26 2014 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It has always been so amazing to me, even at age 70, to see these pictures that when I was a child were only drawings of the immediate universe. There is so much out there that is still unobtainable to us it may always be that way. I say this because we are such a destructive species that I hate to say may self destruct before all the GOOD THINGS will come about. If the universe is approx. 14.5 billion years out there, think of all that is out there that is beyond ancient, species of various possible life & I believe not like us, do to evolution , temperatures, gravity, food sources, atmospheres & other things we don't even know about yet. Look how dinosaurs were huge in prehistoric times do to hi oxygen contents & then they got smaller. There is so much that we don't know about, we are guessing on almost everything, we are infants in this universe, approx. 10 billion years or more as infants. Think of all the possible super intelligent species that may have been in our same position 10 billion years ago, what must they be like NOW? With billions of planets & all types of possible living conditions that they might have come from, what can we expect to see should we ever meet them? So many questions & very few answers, at this time.

January 26 2014 at 7:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jim's comment

well gosh darn, I thought the great lizards got that way because the moon was so much closer to the earth and caused a gravity field that reduced the gravity on earth. These huge beasts couldn't stand if the gravity was as strong as it is today. We have been taught that when food supplies dwindle, the animals also reduce in size. Either Greek mythology is correct or we are the only humans in the universes.

January 26 2014 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Amazing photo! But sometimes we just need to take a look into our own sky - and see if we are being visited from some of those faer off galaxies!

As an example, please explain this to me - Photo of UFO being escorted by Air Force jets: http://www.blue-planet-project.com/UFO-Sightings.html

January 25 2014 at 9:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to wickedwolfpress's comment

I've seen that photo, it could be almost anything other than an UFO. True it is unidentifiable to a citizen. However it could be our next class of spy planes. That rocket flame at the rear of the suspected craft sure doesn't look like what most UFO have to propel them. So in short, please enlarge the photo, see what is different with this UFO to pictures to the rest of UFOs. You'll see that what you think isn't always what you think it is.

January 26 2014 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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