Familiar friend … this optical view from a ground-based telescope shows the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) in a more familiar light. (Image: Bill Schoening, Vanessa Harvey/REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF)
M31 lies 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda and is the nearest large spiral galaxy to our own. Under a clear, dark sky, it can be seen as a misty patch with the naked eye. (Image: Bill Schoening, Vanessa Harvey/REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF)
Pretty as a picture … this mosaic of M31 merges 330 individual images taken by the ultraviolet optical telescope aboard NASA's Swift spacecraft. The image shows a region 200,000 light-years wide and 100,000 light-years high. (Image: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP))
In a galaxy far, far away … about 2.5 million light years, in fact, lie approximately 20,000 hot, young stars and dense clusters that comprise the Andromeda Galaxy. The galaxy, known as M31 in the constellation Andromeda, was recently captured by an ultraviolet optical telescope aboard NASA’s Swift satellite, and delivers the highest-resolution view of a neighboring spiral galaxy ever attained in the ultraviolet.
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