Light from the Andromeda Galaxy reaches us after traveling for 2.5 million years. This Galaxy is a spiral galaxy like our own Milky Way, but larger. It contains roughly a trillion stars or about three times as many as in the Milky Way. Almost all of the stars you see in this photograph as pinpoints of light are stars in the Milky Way, a few tens of thousands of light years away. The stars in the Andromeda Galaxy are so far away that their light appears to merge as fuzzy regions of brightness in this photo. Other telescopes can make out individual stars in the Andromeda Galaxy.
This image was created as a mosaic of three overlapping images. Exposures were taken through four filters: Clear, Red, Green and Blue using an SBIG ST-8XME camera attached to a Takahashi FSQ-106 refractor telescope at f/5 over the course of two nights: October 18 and 25, 2008. Total accumulated exposure times were: Clear (3.75 min), Red (4.2 min), Green (4.2 min), Blue (6.7 min).