The Core (lucky imaging) and Galactic Halo (regular/widefield imaging) of Andromeda
Distrance 2.5 Million Light Years
Deddy Dayag’s image of Andromdea’s core shot with an 11inch sct from an Israeli desert is one of the better shots taken from Earth. I hope we can do even better and reveal a suprising feature that surrounds the supermassive black hole in the core.
In 2005, astronomers identified the source of a mysterious blue light in Andromeda’s core. It’s a group of young blue stars that are orbiting Andromeda’s super massive black hole. The blue stars are surrounded by a disc of older redder stars. I’d like to see if we can resolve this blue dot by lucky imaging Andromeda’s core.
I’ve not found many really good shots of Andromeda’s core and I suspect that even if we don’t manage to resolve the blue dot we will produce a stunning image.
As this target is so bright those of you with colour cameras should stand a chance of lucky imaging this target.
And those with mono cameras will be able to shoot with much shorter subs than normal. Yay!
New evidence point towards the fact that Andromeda’s Halo is stretching much further towards us than we had previously thought. According to my mate Chuck our Milky Way and Andromeda are already touching!
We already started on the widefield shot of Andromeda (below) last year. It already shows some IFN from our galaxy. Be interesting to continue building this up and focus on how far Andromeda’s halo actually stretches. The far reaches of the halo are exceptionally faint and the professional nerds who revealed its existance had to use special techniques to prove it was there. But maybe, just maybe if we get enough regular imagers working on this we will start to see it.
Please note that at 5 degrees FOV this is a widefield target, suitable for small scopes. In order for folks with larger scopes and a smaller field of view to help resolve the halo may I suggest framing Andromdea ‘off center’ so that you’ll be gather photons from one side of the halo or the other. If Andromeda is central you may well be cutting off the bits we’re interested in. Hope this makes sense!