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January 09, 2011

Amateur Astronomer Takes Stunning Photo of Andromeda Galaxy

A 44-year old British network engineer and amateur astronomer, Steve Loughran, captured a stunning photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy last week, comparable to the ones snapped by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The telescope kit used by Loughran is controlled by software running on his computer and cost only around £10,000, a little cheaper than the $4.5–6 billion Hubble. The photograph is a result of Loughran's dedicated interest in astronomy, but it could also lead to questions regarding NASA's resourcefulness.

Posted by xyma at January 9, 2011 07:18 PM


I found this photo and it was taken by Jason Ware. If I flip the image 180 degrees, suddenly it appears very similar to the one from this article, just different coloration. I do not think the photo is genuine.

Posted by: merceriv at January 10, 2011 01:27 PM

Not sure if the previous comment came through, but this photo by Jason Ware was flipped, it appears very similar, so I imagine it could easily just have come off anywhere online.

Posted by: merceriv at January 10, 2011 01:28 PM

For any of you who doubt the visual impact of the Hubble Telescope, I encourage you to watch this video:

There is no earth-bound amateur telescope which can rival even modest professional ground-based telescopes. And there are few (if any) ground-based telescopes which can rival Hubble.

While we should all appreciate the hard work of this amateur astronomer, the author of the article is making a very poor comparison.

Posted by: christoq at January 10, 2011 07:16 PM

If everything from the article is correct and the images are properly credited, I will have to disagree with the previous comment. Just because the Hubble Telescope can capture amazing images doesn't necessarily mean that it will always have the best ones. And vice versa, just because Loughran didn't have a telescope that rivals the Hubble one doesn't necessarily mean that he still can't take phenomenal photos. Based on the pictures I see from the link, my opinion is that Loughran's photo is much more clear and telling. I am not saying that the Hubble Telescope does not capture amazing images, because almost all of it's images trump the other photos available today. In fact, after watching the youtube video I was so in awe at how truly amazing the images were that I got chills up my spine. These were happy chills of course. But I am saying that nothing is impossible, and it the photo taken with the cheaper telescope looks better than the one taken by the Hubble telescope.

Posted by: alymro at January 19, 2011 11:54 PM

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