Galaxies near and far: Milky Way and Andromeda

Central starry pathway is the Milky Way, our home galaxy. The Andromeda galaxy is an elongated fuzzy patch, just right of center.

View larger. | Central starry pathway is the Milky Way, our home galaxy. The Andromeda galaxy is an elongation fuzzy patch, just right of center. Photo copyright Mike Taylor of Taylor Photography.

View larger. | Central starry pathway is the Milky Way, our home galaxy. The Andromeda galaxy is an elongated fuzzy patch, just right of center. Photo copyright Mike Taylor of Taylor Photography.

EarthSky Facebook friend Mike Taylor of Taylor Photography in Maine contributed this photo of two galaxies. Our local Milky Way galaxy extends through the middle of this image, accompanied by M31 – better known as the Andromeda galaxy – the fuzzy, elongated light to center right. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, autumn is the best time to see the Andromeda galaxy.

You can also see the open star cluster M45 – better known as Pleiades, or Seven Sisters – below the Andromeda galaxy and closer to the horizon. Polaris, the North Star is just out-of-frame on the left at about the same height as Andromeda. Mike Taylor said:

This is one frame from a short time lapse I set up in the Bog Brook Preserve area on Maine’s Bold Coast. There was quite a bit of airglow present during this shoot. The light pollution on the horizon is coming from Grand Manan Island and other points further Northeast in Maine and Canada. I did some quick light-painting of the foreground rocks with my flashlight. This image has been processed through Lightroom 4 & Photoshop CS5.

The Bold Coast of Maine is a beautiful and rugged area of spruce-fir forest, peat bogs, dynamic rocky cliffs, and cobblestone beaches. Thanks to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land & the Bog Brook Preserve are part of the largest contiguous area of conservation land on the Maine coast outside of Acadia National Park.

EXIF data: Nikon D600 – 14-24mm @ 14 – f/2.8 – 30 secs – ISO 6400 – 09/08/13 – 10:31 PM

© Mike Taylor – Taylor Photography

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Deborah Byrd

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