The Andromeda galaxy

The Andromeda galaxy

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Credit: CELESTIAL IMAGE PICTURE CO./SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Andromeda Galaxy. True-colour optical image from the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey of the Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31; NGC 224). It is 2.2 million light years from Earth in the constellation Andromeda. At 200 light years across it is the largest galaxy in the 'local group', a cluster of about 25 galaxies that includes our own, the Milky Way. Like the Milky Way, Andromeda is a spiral galaxy with a dense central bulge packed with millions of stars. Here, two small companion galaxies are also seen: the irregular galaxy NGC 205 (at right) and the elliptical galaxy NGC 221 (star-like object just below Andromeda's centre).

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Keywords: andromeda, andromeda galaxy, astronomy, cosmology, elliptical galaxy, galactic, galaxy, m31, m32, ngc 205, ngc 221, ngc 224, palomar imagery, science, spiral, uk schmidt, united kingdom

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