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M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy

Note the interstellar dust lanes, just like we saw in the Milky Way

2.5 million light years away - the furthest object visible to the naked eye
Seen through a veil of stars in our own galaxy. ISO6400 400mm f/5.6 98 x 32s = 52.3 minutes

Camera only on the HEQ5 mount. No telescope was used. In fact this galaxy is best photographed without a telescope because it extends for several degrees across the sky - larger than the field of view of most telescopes.

It is believed that if we could get outside our own Milky Way galaxy and view it obliquely like this it would look very similar.

The two fuzzy objects in this photo, bigger than stars, are also small galaxies. They are in orbit around M31. Our own Milky Way has small satellite galaxies too. Observers in the southern hemisphere can see two fragments separate from the Milky Way. They are called the Magellanic Clouds (after the explorer).

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