Andromeda is our nearest galactic neighbor (as galaxies go). This video gives some scope as to the reality of how vast our universe is… and it fills my heart full of wonder and awe.
The pettiness of our current global issues are really put into perspective when you see images such as this. It’s so beautiful and inspiring just looking at it brings me to tears.
The image you are about to see is the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy — otherwise known as M31.
It is the biggest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a section of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disc stretching across over 40 000 light-years.
This image is too large to be easily displayed at full resolution and is best appreciated using the zoom tool.
Be sure to watch the video to the end.
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This ambitious photographic cartography of the Andromeda galaxy represents a new benchmark for precision studies of large spiral galaxies that dominate the universe’s population of over 100 billion galaxies. Never before have astronomers been able to see individual stars inside an external spiral galaxy over such a large contiguous area. Most of the stars in the universe live inside such majestic star cities, and this is the first data that reveal populations of stars in context to their home galaxy.
Keep in mind that every little dot you see in this image is a star, and researchers have found that virtually ever star has at least one planet orbiting it. Many of those planets also have moons.
And this is all found inside a single galaxy.