The Hubble Space Telescope has taken the sharpest photo ever of Andromeda Galaxy and it is quite stunning. The sharpest composite image of our neighboring galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy has a resolution of 1.5 billion pixels and it is believed to be the largest photograph ever taken.
The Andromeda Galaxy is a very large spiral galaxy and it is located 2.5 million light years away from Earth. Andromeda is home to a very large number of stars in the Universe, but its mass is only twice as large as our own Milky Way.
The Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy are expected to merge at one point in time, but scientists assure us that it’s not going to happen for another 2 billion years from now; by then the Earth would have been long gone. When it does happen, the merging of the two galaxies is going to produce an elliptical galaxy.
The image, which is the sharpest photo ever of Andromeda Galaxy has a high resolution of 1.5 billion pixels and it is considered to be the largest photograph ever taken. This stunning photo was released at the 225th meeting of the AAS (American Astronomical Society) earlier this month.
The photograph displays more than 100 million starts and shows Andromeda is amazing detail. The region covered by the photograph covers a stunning 48,000 light years. Don’t think that this is the only photograph of the galaxy taken using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera. These two high-tech camera have taken a total of 7,398 images from around 411 points. The camera work by viewing the Andromeda galaxy in several wavelengths, including visible, near-infrared and near-ultraviolet.
The program that helped facilitate the taking of the sharpest photo ever of Andromeda Galaxy is called the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury or PHAT.
The main reason why this photography is so important to scientists is that it reveals population of stars in context to their home galaxy.
We invite you, the readers to zoom in and around the large version of the photo that you can find on the Hubble Space Telescope’s website.
Image Source: Hubble Site