From IAC via Manu: “Messier 31, the Andromeda Galaxy by IAC.”

Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

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Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

Andromeda Galaxy, the first image of the “cosmic Fotomatón”
Identification of objects in the image of Messier 31. Credit: Daniel Lopez / IAC

With this astrophotography, obtained under the “Niépce: from negative to positive” project, the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands opens his Instagram account.

“Cosmic Fotomatón” remote astrograph of the Communication and Scientific Culture (UC3) of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), and fully operational at the Observatorio del Teide (Izaña, Tenerife). The first image of the object is obtained Messier 31 , the Andromeda galaxy, and with it the IAC opens its account on the social network Instagram ( ).

Our neighboring galaxy, with nearly a trillion stars, is located 2.5 million light years away, so the photons recorded in the image left of it that long ago when hominids evolved in South Africa yet. These photons increasingly take less time to reach us since the galaxy is approaching us at a speed of 300 km / s and collide with the Milky Way shortly before the death of the Sun, at 5,000 million years.

Andromeda is one of the three largest spiral galaxies in the Local Group, our galactic neighborhood, covering a large area of sky equivalent to seven Lunas placed one after another, although not perceptible to our eyes.

Local Group. Andrew Z. Colvin 3 March 2011

However, despite being the most distant object we can see the Cosmos naked eye from dark locations especially as the skies of the Observatories of the Canary Islands, this distance represents only 0.02% of the observable universe with telescopes and advanced instrumentation .

Image a dwarf elliptical galaxy, Messier 110 which is orbiting is also appreciated Andromeda and which also belongs to the local group.

“Cosmic Fotomatón” is an instrument of “Niépce: from negative to positive” project, a tribute of astronomy to photography, which aims to obtain astronomical images like this, wide-field and depth. With it will develop projects for different audiences, such as traveling educational exhibition “100 square LUNAS” designed to reach out to schools next October. It will also serve to train teachers of schools, cultural centers and museums, and the “Send us your piece of heaven” competition with amateur astronomers will take place.

Under the Niépce project they are also getting other images with telescopes of the Canarian Observatories including the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) in order to expand the gallery of astronomical images for publicity purposes.

Technical data of the image:
Composition in RGB filters (18x total exposure 600s each) and Halfa (14x 1.800s) obtained with a telescope 10 cm in diameter and 380 mm focal together with a CCD camera 4k x 4k cooled to – 30 degrees. Images captured during moonless periods from the Observatorio del Teide are square and cover 10 Lunas on each side, just over five degrees of arc.

On the Andromeda galaxy.

The Andromeda Galaxy.

Andromeda is the nearest giant spiral galaxy to Earth. In fact, it may be located at first in skies without light pollution. Therefore, it is often portrayed by astrophotography. In this case it was Daniel López, IAC collaborator, the author of this snapshot chosen today, January 8, as Astronomy Picture of the Day by NASA.

Our neighboring galaxy has a diameter of about 220,000 light years in which almost a trillion stars that are 2.5 million light years away meet. This means that the photons recorded in the image left of it when hominids evolved in South Africa yet. However, more and it takes less time to reach us since the Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Milky Way at a speed of 300 km / s.

In the image a reddish clouds that seem to be around the Andromeda Galaxy are also appreciated. However, formed of ionized hydrogen gas, these clouds take a close – up photography and, in fact, are located in the Milky Way. As it would happen when we see the moon through the clouds.

At first glance, it may seem quite small because only the central part of the galaxy is bright enough to be appreciated by the human eye, but its actual diameter equivalent to seven full moons seen from Earth. This ratio means better knowing that the image selected as APOD today is one which will form part of the exhibition “100 Lunas²”, which have been captured portions of the sky with an area of 10 moons high by 10 moons full width. This exhibition is part of “Niépce: from negative to positive” project, a tribute of astronomy to photography.

Daniel Lopez / IAC.

See the full article here.

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The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).
The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.

Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC