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Cool, New Views of Andromeda Galaxy

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At www.jpl.nasa.gov


In this new view of the Andromeda galaxy from the Herschel space observatory, cool lanes of forming stars are revealed in the finest detail yet.
(image by ESA/Herschel/PACS & SPIRE Consortium, O. Krause, HSC, H. Linz)

Two new eye-catching views from the Herschel space observatory are fit for a princess. They show the elegant spiral galaxy Andromeda, named after the mythical Greek princess known for her beauty. The Andromeda galaxy, also known as Messier 31, lies 2 million light-years away, and is the closest large galaxy to our own Milky Way. It is estimated to have up to one trillion stars, whereas the Milky Way contains hundreds of billions. Recent evidence suggests Andromeda's overall mass may in fact be less than the mass of the Milky Way, when dark matter is included. In both views, warmer dust is highlighted in the central regions by different colors. New stars are being born in this central, crowded hub, and throughout the galaxy's rings in dusty knots. Spokes of dust can also be seen between the rings.

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At www.jpl.nasa.gov


 

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