Stars in the Andromeda Galaxy’s disc

This image shows NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images of a small part of the disc of the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way. Hubble’s position above the distorting effect of the atmosphere, combined with the galaxy’s relative proximity, means that the galaxy can be resolved into individual stars, rather than the cloudy white wisps usually seen in observations of galaxies.

A galaxy’s disc is the area made up of its spiral arms, and the darker areas between them. After the galaxy’s central bulge, this is the densest part of a galaxy. However, these observations are made near the edge, where the star fields are noticeably less crowded. This lets us see glimpses through the galaxy into the distant background, where the more diffuse blobs of light are actually faraway galaxies.

These observations were made in order to observe a wide variety of stars in Andromeda, ranging from faint main sequence stars like our own Sun, to the much brighter RR Lyrae stars, which are a type of variable star. With these measurements, astronomers can determine the chemistry and ages of the stars in each part of the Andromeda Galaxy.

Credit:

NASA, ESA and T.M. Brown (STScI)

About the Image

Id:heic1112a
Type:Observation
Release date:21 July 2011, 10:00
Related releases:heic1112
Size:6457 x 6856 px

About the Object

Name:Andromeda Galaxy, Messier 31
Type:• Local Universe : Star : Type : Variable
• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
• Local Universe : Galaxy : Component : Disk
• X - Stars Images/Videos
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:2 million light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
Pseudogreen (V+I)
Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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