Andromeda

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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 the Milky Way’s estimated 200 to 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 ~4.5 billion years, merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy or a large disc galaxy. With an apparent magnitude of 3.4, the Andromeda Galaxy is among the brightest of the Messier objects — making it visible to the naked eye on moonless nights, even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution. — Wikipedia

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Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Twinkle, twinkle, little star: Physicists develop...
    on February 26, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Who hasn't looked at the sky on a mild summer night and thought about the vastness of the universe? The trained eye can see the Andromeda galaxy as a distant spot. Thanks to the latest telescopes, we know that it consists of over a trillion stars. In the "nanocosm," clusters of individual light sources, such as molecules, also appear as points.

  • NASA's Webb telescope will capture more stars at...
    on February 24, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    The combination of high resolution and infrared-detecting instruments on NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope will reveal stars that are currently hidden even from the powerful Hubble Space Telescope. The wealth of additional star data will allow astronomers to investigate a range of questions, from star birth to star death to the universe's elusive expansion rate. Early observations with Webb will demonstrate its ability to distinguish the individual light of stars in the local universe […]

  • Astronomers unmask cosmic eruptions in nearby...
    on January 22, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    A brief burst of high-energy light swept through the solar system on April 15, triggering many space-based instruments, including those aboard NASA and European missions. Now, multiple international science teams conclude that the blast came from a supermagnetized stellar remnant known as a magnetar located in a neighboring galaxy.

  • The Milky Way does the wave
    on January 19, 2021 at 12:40 pm

    In results announced this week at the 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, scientists from the Sloan Digital Sky survey present the most detailed look yet at the warp of our own galaxy.

  • Astronomers find signature of magnetar outbursts...
    on January 13, 2021 at 5:43 pm

    Apart from black holes, magnetars may be the most extreme stars in the universe. With a diameter less than the length of Manhattan, they pack more mass than that of our sun, wield the largest magnetic field of any known object—more than 10 trillion times stronger than a refrigerator magnet—and spin on their axes every few seconds.