Tag Archives: Andromeda

The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is a spiral galaxy approximately 780 kiloparsecs (2.5 million light-years) from Earth, and the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. Its name stems from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda.

The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that the Andromeda Galaxy contains approximately one trillion stars, more than twice the number of our galaxy, the Milky Way’s estimated 200-400 billion stars. The Andromeda Galaxy, spanning approximately 220,000 light years, is the largest galaxy in our Local Group, which is also home to the Triangulum Galaxy and other minor galaxies. The Andromeda Galaxy’s mass is estimated to be around 1.76 times that of the Milky Way Galaxy (~0.8-1.5×1012 solar masses vs the Milky Way’s 8.5×1011 solar masses).

The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide in about 4.5 billion years, merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy or a large disc galaxy.

If Andromeda Galaxy were brighter, this is what we’d see

Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest object in the sky that we can see with the naked eye. But if you don’t know where to look, you won’t notice it. But if it were much brighter, its appearance in the sky would be sensational. The moon is a good reference about what we’d see in the image below:

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