ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Andromeda galaxy (M31), optical image. The central nucleus of the galaxy is seen here. This appears more yellow than the surrounding spiral arms as it contains a higher proportion of dust and older, redder stars. Dark lanes of dust are seen crossing the bright nucleus. The Andromeda galaxy is the closest major galaxy to our own Milky Way, lying just over two million light years away. It is also about half as large again as the Milky Way, with a span of over 150,000 light years. The galaxy takes its name from the constellation Andromeda, in which is it found.
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