Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Our galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda. Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies. The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround Andromeda’s image are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background object. M31 is so distant it takes about two million years for light to reach us from there.
This image was captured using amateur astrophotography equipment including a Skywatcher 80mm telescope, a QHY269M monochrome camera and a seven position filter wheel containg Red, Green, Blue, Hydrogen Alpha, Oxygen III and Sulphur II filters. Tracking was done using an iOptron CEM70G mount and PHD2 guiding software. It was entirely processed using PixInsight.