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Sunday Photo Spotlight: PanSTARRS Dances With Andromeda

Photo Credit: Chris Cook /  cookphoto.com
Photo Credit: Chris Cook / cookphoto.com

This past Tuesday, photographer Chris Cook snapped this image of M31 (Messier 31), more commonly known as the Andromeda Galaxy. It shared the sky with the PanSTARRS comet, which is making its way through the solar system.

Cook produced this composite image by conducting four 20-second exposures taken with a Canon 40D at ISO800 and a 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. The camera was tracked during the exposures using an Orion EQ-1 equatorial mount. It was taken on the evening of April 2, 2013, near his home in Harwich, Mass. To see more of Cook’s work, simply click here: Chris Cook Photography

Written by Jason Rhian

Jason Rhian gained Bachelor’s Degrees in journalism and public relations from the University of South Florida and spent countless hours volunteering with NASA and other space groups to gain experience. He has interned with NASA twice. Once at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) press site in 2007 and with NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) in 2009.

Jason has worked with a number of space-related groups and events - including Google Lunar X-PRIZE team Omega Envoy, the 2009 International Space Development Conference and NASA's KSC press site. Jason has covered over 30 launches. His work has been published in Aviation Week & Space Technology, The Spaceport News and online with MSNBC.com, Space.com, SpaceRef.com, Spacevidcast.com, Universe Today and other websites.

Whereas some journalists are comfortable repurposing a press release and using imagery provided to them by the public relations arm of that organization – Jason has made a habit of getting behind the pre-approved announcements to cover the events first hand. He covered President Obama’s remarks live from Kennedy Space Center in April 2010. Jason also flew out to Utah to cover the test fire of Alliant Techsystems second test of the company’s Development Motor-2 (DM-2). More recently, he sat in the backseat of history, flying on NASA’s Shuttle Training Aircraft with STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson as he trained for the last mission of the space shuttle era during the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT).

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