A High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy
NASA has published the sharpest composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31). It is a bird’s-eye view of a portion of the galaxy and has been created with 7,398 exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope over 411 individual pointings.
In their publication, they write about this image: “Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, the Hubble telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And, there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk.”
Click on the picture below to get a larger view of the galaxy or see the zoom-version at the Hubble site.
Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and L.C. Johnson (University of Washington), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler