Andromeda galaxy via robotic telescope

James Figge of Delmar, New York captured this image on February 23, 2019 – from the comfort of his home – with the Harvard-Smithsonian 6-inch robotic telescope in Arizona.

Brightly glowing galactic center and arms, bright spot below it, stars in foreground.

More details at EarthSky Community Photos. | Image of M31 (Andromeda Galaxy) and M32 (a satellite galaxy) taken with the Harvard-Smithsonian 6-inch robotic internet telescope located near Amado, Arizona. 60-second exposure time. Image by James Figge.

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James Figge wrote:

This is the Andromeda galaxy from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics MicroObservatory. They have 6-inch robotic telescopes in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in Arizona. You control your image settings on this web page. Then you transmit your parameters, and the instructions go out to one of the robot telescopes. Within 24 hours or so a link to your image file is sent back to your email.

You then need to save the file on your computer and upload into the image processing software. The key is learning how to use the software. I practiced on it for 10 hours before I did my first image, which is the one above. I worked on processing this for about 2 hours. This part of it is really an art and you have to practice to understand how the software works. There are tutorials online that help you get started.

Anyone can use it over the internet; it is funded by a grant from NASA, so there is no charge to the user. Access is via:

http://mo-www.harvard.edu/OWN/

To control a telescope you go to the ‘control telescope’ tab. When you are ready to process your image you go to the ‘analyze images’ tab.

Thank you, James!

Bottom line: A photo of the Andromeda galaxy captured with the Harvard-Smithsonian 6-inch robotic telescope in Arizona.

Deborah Byrd

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