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"NGC891 in Andromeda" 11/11/99 Kitt Peak, Arizona
(Image by Adam Block, Willis Greiner and Cheryl Price. Copyright NOAO, all rights reserved.)

This CCD image was obtained using a 16" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope operating at f/6.3. The camera used was a SBIG ST-8; sky chart software was Software Bisque's The Sky, acquisition and image manipulation software was Cyanogen's Maxim DL. Three 300-second exposures were taken and combined to form a raw composite image. Dark and flat-field exposures were taken and applied to the raw images. A maximum-entropy algorithm was then applied to the combined data, resulting in the final image shown here.

NGC891 is a beautiful and striking spiral galaxy seen exactly edge-on. Galaxies like NGC891 are separate "island universes" similar to but at great distances from our own galaxy, the Milky Way. If you look toward the center of the Milky Way (in Cygnus and Sagittarius) on a late summer evening you may see a dark rift (not unlike the one seen here) that exists traversing our own galaxy. This featured galaxy in Andromeda is thought to be about 43 million light years from us; this implies that its light that we are now viewing left NGC891 43 million years ago, somewhat after the demise of the dinosaurs and 38 million years before the first proto-human emerged to look skyward!

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All images and narratives copyright Willis Greiner, all rights reserved.

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