NGC 206 and Star Clouds in M31

Rod Pommier
Location of photo
Pommier Observatory, Portland, OR, USA
Date/Time of photo
2015-08-21 through 2015-09-15
Telescope/Mount:Celestron Compustar C14 with Astro-Physics 0.75x focal reducer (f/8). Camera: SBIG STL 11000 CCD camera with Baader Planetarium LRGB filters. SBIG AO-L adaptive optics @ 4.5Hz. Exposures: LRGB=650:240:240:220 minutes=22.5 hours total exposure.
This image shows the enormous star cloud NGC 206 within M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. This star cloud contains approximately 300 intensely bright, hot, blue class O and B supergiants spanning a region approximately 4000 light-years in length. NGC 206 is on the edge of other blue star clouds that comprise a major blue spiral arm of M31. A separate, smaller star cloud is visible at lower right. Use of adaptive optics and long exposures helped resolve many individual blue stars in these clouds as well as detail in the dark dust lanes. The remainder of the galaxy in the image is comprised of un-resolvable, older, yellow stars. Many bright red HII regions, where active star formation is occurring within emission nebulae, can be seen along the edges of the dust lanes and star clouds.
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