DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Great Andromeda Galaxy. Artwork of the Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31; NGC 224). It has a bright, dense core, surrounded by dimmer spiral arms. The M32 (NGC 221) and NGC 205 elliptical galaxies, which are small companions of M31, are seen at lower left and lower centre respectively. M31 is 2.2 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Andromeda. At 200,000 light years across it is the largest galaxy in the "local group", the cluster of around 25 galaxies that includes our own, the Milky Way.
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