Andromeda in 5 minutes

This is a single photo of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken by CIERA graduate student Imran Sultan from the darkest skies in America. Astrophotographers typically “stack” hundreds of photos together to reveal faint detail in images, but the sky here was so dark that just one five minute exposure was enough. Sultan shot the photo while visiting his first Bortle class 1 dark sky site in December 2022 in southwestern New Mexico. Sultan, who practices astrophotography in his free time, is a graduate student in CIERA Professor Claude-Andre Faucher-Giguere’s group. In 2023, Sultan’s photo of the Western Veil Nebula and the Flower Moon won first place and runner-up respectively in the astronomy category of the Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition.

Credit: Imran Sultan/Northwestern/CIERA

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