October 2022 - Picture of the Month
The Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31)
It's fair to say that this month's choice is not at the 'obscure' end of objects for Picture of the Month. Messier 31 has probably been observed by most amateur astronomers, and imaged by many.
Our neighbour covers a patch of night sky about 3° in length and 1° wide, and at a distance of about 2¼ million light-years, it's about 150,000 light-years in diameter. It also has another two familiar galaxies literally in tow, M32 and M110, and that bright star cloud, NGC 206, to observe too. Binoculars are a good may to observe it, and astrophotographers might struggle to capture the whole field.
It's my choice because some sights are taken for granted.
I think that Patrick's image captures this particular sight beautifully: pulling out far more detail than the eye, but without making those dust clouds too harsh, or blowing out the galaxy cores. Patrick has much more detail about this image, his methods, and his journey to this version–it's his third attempt–on his blog. I enjoyed reading it.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.