SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Optical photograph of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31, NGC 224) & its dwarf elliptical satellite galaxy M32 (NGC 221, bright patch at bottom centre). Andromeda is a spiral galaxy some 2.2 million light years from our own galaxy, the Milky Way. It is 170,000 light years across & is the largest of the nearby galaxies, being visible as a faint patch with the naked eye. Together with the Milky Way, Andromeda is one of the largest & most important members of the Local Group of galaxies. The track of an Earth-orbiting satellite is seen running down the left hand side of the image.
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