Friday, November 26, 2010

NGC 891 - Edge On Galaxy

Click on the image for a larger view
This galaxy, NGC 891 in Andromeda, is one of the most beautiful examples of a spiral galaxy seen exactly edgewise.  The above image shows the entire field of view photographed through my 1000mm focal length telescope.  The image is a combination of five exposures, fifteen minutes each.

Click on the image for larger view

In this close up, you can see the complex system of dark clouds extending across the entire galaxy.  These are clouds of gas and dust spraying out like filaments away from the galactic plane.  The galaxy is a member of the Local Supercluster of galaxies and is about 30 million light years away.  This is not an easy object to view through a small telescope, only seen as a smear of light, but in a large scope it is a grand sight.

The field is strewn with lots of smaller and more distant galaxies.  I have taken three sections from the full image and enlarged them 100%.  Click on each image for a larger view.