With the help of the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA managed to obtain a crystal-clear image of Andromeda, our galaxy’s closest neighbor, located 2.5 million light years away. This breathtaking photograph was released during the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society and is the largest and most detailed such picture to date. In fact, the image is so large that you would require 600 High-Definition TV screens to be able to see the entire pic.
The image is 60,000 by 22,000 pixels (a whopping 1.5 billion pixels), allowing the telescope to resolve each separate star. NASA describes it as being:
”like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand,”
More than 100 million stars are contained in this one-of-a-kind image which takes the viewer across 40,000 light-years of space splendor. Andromeda’s appeal was its proximity: images are easier to obtain when the galaxy is not located millions of light years away from the Earth.
Taken by a team of scientists from the University of Washington, this HD image was obtained after three years of hard work. The researchers took 7,398 different exposures from a total of 411 points in order to create this exquisitely-detailed composite picture.
Our beautiful and mysterious neighbor is a spiral galaxy which gets its name from the constellation of Andromeda, named after Princess Andromeda. Together with the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy and 40 other smaller galaxies, it forms the Local Group.
Image Source: NASA
Image Source: Daily Mail
Image Source: Daily Galaxy