Andromeda Galaxy – (2022)

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The Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy – (1)

The Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy which also has alternate scientific names of M31 and NGC224, is the closest full-sized galaxy to the Milky Way Galaxy, home of the Earth. There are smaller galaxies, such as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds which orbit the Milky Way, is the closest large galaxy at a distance of about 2.5 million light-years from Earth. It gets its name from the fact that it is located in the night sky in the constellation Andromeda.

The Andromeda Galaxy is thought to be somewhat larger than the Milky Way Galaxy, although not by quite as much as previously thought – we will go into more detail on this a little later. It is also easily visible from the night skies on moonless nights with the naked eye, despite being about 2.5 million light-years away.

Andromeda Galaxy Facts

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In this section I will go over some facts about the Andromeda Galaxy, some of which we may explore in later sections. The Andromeda Galaxy is also known by various scientific designations such as M31, NGC 224, UGC454, and PGC 2557.

The Andromeda Galaxy can be seen in the constellation of Andromeda at the coordinates of right ascension 00 hours 42 minutes and 44.3 seconds, and declination of +41 degrees 16 minutes and 9 seconds.

The redshift value for Andromeda is -.001001; the minus sign indicates that this value is actually a blueshift which means that the Andromeda Galaxy is moving towards Earth and the Milky Way Galaxy.

The radial velocity of Andromeda is about 187 miles(301 kilometers) per second and its distance has been determined to be approximately 2.54 million light-years away from Earth.

The apparent magnitude of Andromeda is about 3.44 which means it is easily visible in moonless night skies with low light pollution, while it’s apparent magnitude is -21.5.

It is scientifically classified as a type SA(s)b galaxy – a spiral galaxy with spiral arms and medium sized nucleus. It has a diameter of about 220000 light-years with a mass of around 1.5 trillion solar masses and is thought to contain approximately 1 trillion stars.

Early Observations Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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Observations of the Andromeda Galaxy go back much further in time than one might think. The first recorded observation of the Andromeda Galaxy appears to be around the year 964 when a Persian astronomer named Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi described it in his Book of Stars as a ‘nebulous smear’.

Later on in 1612 a German astronomer named Simon Marius described it based on some telescopic observations he had. The French mathematician and philosopher Pierre Louis Maupertuis observed Andromeda in 1745 as a blurry spot, conjecturing that it was some sort of island universe.

Charles Messier was a French astronomer famous for his astronomical catalogue of nebulae and star clusters known as Messier objects, and he cataloged Andromeda as M31 in his book. William Herschel was a German born British astronomer who made observations of Andromeda and claimed he saw a reddish color in it’s core in 1785. Making an assessment of its color and magnitude, he came to a conclusion that the Andromeda Galaxy was around 2000 times the distance away as the star Sirius, which is about 8 light-years from Earth. This would have put Andromeda at a distance of around 16000 light-years from Earth, which as we now know, is grossly incorrect.

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In 1850 William Parsons, an Anglo-Irish astronomer who had built a 72 inch telescope known as the Leviathan of Parsonstown, made the first known drawing of the spiral structure of the Andromeda Galaxy.

In 1864 William Huggins, an English astronomer who pioneered in astronomical spectroscopy, observed that the spectra of Andromeda displayed various frequencies which were superimposed with dark absorption lines corresponding to various elements that were more indicative of stars than of nebulae, leading him to believe that Andromeda was composed of stars.

Later in 1885, a supernova was observed in the Andromeda Galaxy, known as S Andromedae – this was the only supernova(essentially an explosion of a massive star) that has ever been observed in Andromeda, even to this day. At the time it was first discovered it was believed to be only a nova(the transient bright appearance of a new star), since it was thought at that time that Andromeda was much closer to Earth than it actually was, thus grossly underestimating it’s luminosity.

Isaac Roberts was a Welsh engineer who was also an amateur who is believed to have taken the first photographs of Andromeda in 1887. At that time it was widely believed that Andromeda was only a nebula in our own Milky Way Galaxy, and so Isaac Roberts thought that Andromeda was an early forming solar system in our galaxy.

Vesto Melvin Slipher was an American astronomer who made the first measurements of the radial velocities of galaxies, also noting their redshift values which helped establish the fact that the Universe is expanding. In 1912 he used spectroscopy to measure the radial velocity of Andromeda with respect to our Solar System, which came out to a value of 190 miles per second, the largest velocity that had ever been recorded up to that time.

In 1917 Heber Curtis, an American astronomer, discovered 11 novae in Andromeda and observed that they were about 10 magnitudes fainter than those occurring in other areas of the night sky. Because of this he estimated that the distance of the Andromeda Galaxy from Earth was about 500000 light-years, still far less than its actual distance of 2.5 million light-years that we know today, but definitely a big improvement over previous estimates. He thus came to the conclusion that Andromeda was an independent galaxy far outside our own Milky Way.

In 1920 there was a Great Debate between Heber Curtis and another American astronomer Harlow Shapley concerning the nature of spiral nebulae and the size of the Universe. Shapley believed they were smaller nebulae lying within the outer regions of our own galaxy, while Curtis thought that they were independent galaxies which were quite large and at a very great distance from Earth. Of course, Heber Curtis turned out to be correct and was therefore the winner of the Great Debate.

Ernst Opik was an Estonian astronomer, who in 1922 used the measured velocities of stars in the Andromeda Galaxy to calculate its distance from Earth, which he estimated at 1.5 million light-years, yet another significant improvement. Then in 1925 Edwin Hubble, a famous American astronomer, definitively proved that the Andromeda Galaxy was a large spiral galaxy, far away from Earth by observing the extragalactic Cepheid variable stars(a type of pulsating star) in Andromeda for the first time which confirmed the great distance of Andromeda from the Milky Way.

In 1943 Walter Baade, a German astronomer working in the United States at the time, became the first person to actually resolve stars in the galactic core of Andromeda. He classified two different types of stars; type 1 which were young high velocity stars, and type 2 which were older red colored stars. He also discovered two types of Cepheid variable stars which caused him to come to the conclusion that the Andromeda Galaxy was almost twice as far away as the previous estimate of 1.5 million light-years, much closer to the distance of 2.5 million light-years that we know today.

Radio emissions from the Andromeda Galaxy were first detected in 1950 by Hanbury Brown, a British astronomer, and Cyril Hazard with radio telescopes located at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Manchester, in the United Kingdom. Later in the 1950’s the British astronomer John Baldwin and his associates made the first radio maps of the Andromeda Galaxy at the Cambridge Radio Astronomy Group at the University of Cambridge.

In 2009 the very first planet is believed to have been discovered in the Andromeda Galaxy using a type of gravitational microlensing technique – detecting deflected light from the gravitational effects of a larger object – to seperate the mass of the planet from its parent star.

Formation Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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It is now thought that the Andromeda Galaxy formed about 10 billion years ago from colliding and then merging with a number of smaller protogalaxies – these are essentially clouds of interstellar gas which are in the early stage of galaxy formation. These violent collisions formed the extended disk and galactic halo of Andromeda. During this formation epoch there would have been a very high rate of star formation in the Andromeda Galaxy causing it to become a luminous infrared galaxy for around another 100 million years.

History Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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What is the history of the Andromeda Galaxy after this initial period of formation, roughly 100 million years? For billions of years gravitational forces, along with some possible mergers with smaller galaxies and star clusters, have been the main factor in the evolution of Andromeda.

It is currently thought that somewhere around 85 percent of all the matter in the Universe is dark matter, with only the remaining 15 percent ordinary, or visible, matter. So the gravitational forces of all this matter, both ordinary matter and dark matter, was crucial for Andromeda to evolve to the galaxy that we observe today. I say ‘today’, but since Andromeda is about 2.5 million light-years away we are really seeing it 2.5 million years in the past!

It is very interesting to mention that the Andromeda Galaxy and the Triangulum Galaxy had a very close encounter, or passage, with each other around 2 to 4 billion years ago. The gravitational forces from this event is thought to have resulted in very high rates of star formation across the disk of Andromeda, even creating some globular star clusters.

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During the past 2 billion years new star formation in Andromeda has greatly decreased, almost to the point of inactivity. There also seems to have been interactions with a number of satellite galaxies with Andromeda which is thought to have resulted in Andromeda’s Giant Stellar Stream – a stream of stars orbiting Andromeda which may have been smaller satellite galaxies and globular star clusters which were torn apart by intense gravitational tidal forces.

How Far Away Is The Andromeda Galaxy?

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The Andromeda Galaxy is roughly 2.54 million light-years from Earth according our best estimates at the present time. Methods of estimating this distance include variance in light distribution from the luminosity of stars in the galaxy and their fluctuations, cepheid variable stars and their luminosity fluctuations, eclipses of binary stars in the galaxy with the comparison of apparent and absolute magnitudes, and measuring the luminosity of the brightest red-giant branch stars in the galaxy(TRGB method). Using these methods and averaging the results gives us the 2.54 million light-year figure for the distance of the Andromeda Galaxy.

How Big Is The Andromeda Galaxy?

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Estimates for the size of the Andromeda Galaxy are still uncertain. In 2006 the spheroid of the Andromeda Galaxy was determined to have a higher stellar density than the Milky Way Galaxy and the stellar disk of Andromeda was estimated at about twice the diameter of the Milky Way – Andromeda was thought to contain over 1 trillion stars compared to around 400 billion stars in the Milky Way.

This gave a total stellar mass estimate about twice that of the Milky Way at about 1.5 trillion solar masses with about 30 percent of this mass in the galactic core, 56 percent in the galactic disk, and the remaining 14 percent in the galactic halo.

In 2018 study of radio frequency emissions from Andromeda seemed to indicate a mass more or less equal to that of the Milky Way in the range of .8 trillion solar masses – this contradicts the earlier studies but is by no means certain. Much ongoing research is still being done to determine how big the Andromeda Galaxy is.

Luminosity Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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The Andromeda Galaxy appears to have a significantly older population of stars than the Milky Way Galaxy with many having ages greater than 7 billion years. However the estimated luminosity of Andromeda is about 26 billion units of radiant flux, which is about 25 percent greater than that of the Milky Way. This may be in large part because Andromeda is believed to have over twice the number of stars than in the Milky Way, around a trillion, despite having a predominately older star population.

The absolute magnitude of Andromeda is believed to be about -21.5, although this is only an estimate, and some believe that the Andromeda Galaxy is the second brightest galaxy within a radius of about 32.6 million light-years of Earth, behind the Sombrero Galaxy, a lenticular galaxy visible in the constellation of Virgo about 31.1 million light-years from Earth.

Structure Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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The Andromeda Galaxy is currently classified as a SA(s)b galaxy – a spiral disk galaxy with tightly bound spiral arms and a medium size nucleus. Andromeda may have to be reclassified as a barred galaxy since the Two Micron All-Sky Survey(2MASS) seems to indicate that it has a bar structure spanning its long axis.

In past years Andromeda was thought to have a diameter of 70000 to 120000 light-years across, comparable to the Milky Way. However, starting in 2005 with observations from the two telescopes at the Keck Observatory near the top of Mauna Kea in the state of Hawaii in the USA(the primary mirrors are both 394 inches in diameter making them the 2nd largest astronomical telescope behind the Gran Telescopio Canarias on the island of La Palma in the Canaries, Spain which has a primary mirror 410 inches in diameter) discoveries have been made indicating that the diameter of the disk of Andromeda is much greater than previously thought, perhaps as much as three times as great.

Observations of the Keck telescopes show that stars extending outward from Andromeda are actually part of the disk itself giving strong evidence of a much larger and expansive stellar as much as 220000 light-years across. Andromeda is inclined at an angle of 77 degrees relative to our galaxy(90 degrees would be edge on), the Milky Way, which enables a marginal view of some of the cross section structure, which seems to show a significant S-shaped warp rather than only a flat disk. This may be due in part to the gravitational influences of some of Andromeda’s closer satellite galaxies.

Spectroscopic studies of Andromeda have enabled us to estimate rotational velocities inside the galaxy as a function of the distance from the galactic core. At a distance of 1300 light-years from the galactic core the rotational velocity is around 140 miles per second, and when moving out to about 7000 light-years from the core it drops to about 31 miles per second. From this point rotational velocities will keep rising until they reach a peak of about 160 miles per second at a radius of 33000 light-years from the galactic core.

Going outward from the 33000 light-year radius velocities will slowly decline until they drop to 120 miles per second at a radius from the core of about 80000 light-years. From these radial velocity measurements it is possible to make an estimate that there is a concentrated mass equivalent to about 6 billion solar masses in the nucleus region of the Andromeda Galaxy.

The Andromeda Galaxy is viewed close to edge on with respect to its orientation from Earth, 77 degrees as opposed to 90 degrees for a complete edge on view, so its spiral structure is somewhat difficult to discern. Given this fact, it still seems that the Andromeda Galaxy is pretty much an ordinary spiral galaxy with 2 spiral arms beginning at about 1600 light-years from the core and extending outward, separated from each other by at least 13000 light-years. The spiral arms are somewhat indistinct, possibly due to interaction with the satellite galaxies M32 and M110 and the resultant gravitational influence.

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In 1998 images from the European Space Agency’s Infrared Space Observatory indicated the presence of several overlapping rings of gas and dust in Andromeda, with an especially prominent one, called the ring of fire by some astronomers, at a distance of 32000 light-years from the galactic core. This is mostly cold gas and dust which cannot be seen in the visible wavelengths of light. The presence of these rings of gas and dust have led some scientists to believe that Andromeda could be evolving into a ring type of galaxy in the far distant future, although this is by no means certain at this time.

Close examinations of the inner structure of Andromeda seem to suggest that a collision with the smaller satellite galaxy M32 some 200 million years ago may have been responsible for some of the ring structures. Computer simulations show that this smaller galaxy, M32, may have passed through the disk of Andromeda along its polar axis, stripping away about half of the mass of M32 and creating the ring structures in Andromeda.

The galactic halo of Andromeda, an extended halo of stars surrounding the galactic disk, is thought to have followed a similar evolutionary path to the galactic halo of the Milky Way, resulting from the assimilation of up to one hundred smaller galaxies over the course of about 12 billion years.

Galactic Center Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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Andromeda appears through Earth-bound telescopes to have a singular central bulge in it’s center, but in 1991 the Hubble Space Telescope was used to image the center of the Andromeda Galaxy, and what resulted was rather surprising. The nucleus of Andromeda really consists of two concentrations of stars, separated by about 4.9 light-years. The brighter concentration, called P1, is offset from the center of Andromeda, while the dimmer concentration of stars, called P2, is in the true center of the Andromeda Galaxy.

In the true center of Andromeda, in the P2 concentration, there is a black hole which is estimated to be in the range of 110 million to 230 million solar masses. The radial velocity of the stars and other materials dispersed around it is estimated to be about 99.4 miles per second, or 160 kilometers per second. At the current time, there is not thought to be any black hole in the center of the P1 concentration, due to the characteristics of the distribution of stars and other materials around it.

Contents Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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The types of objects which the Andromeda Galaxy contains are probably somewhat similar to that of our own Milky Way Galaxy, such as planets in orbit around stars, various types of stars in different stages of evolution, black holes, rogue planets drifting in the void of interstellar space, interstellar gas and dust, and so on. One difference is that Andromeda is more massive and contains over twice the number of stars as the Milky Way.

At the current time it is thought that there are about 460 globular clusters in the Andromeda Galaxy. The most massive of these, called Globular One, is the most luminous globular cluster in the Local Group of galaxies, which includes Andromeda, the Milky Way, and Triangulum as the largest galaxies. It has several large stellar populations with a total of several million stars and is about twice as luminous as Omega Centauri, the most luminous globular cluster in the Milky Way Galaxy. It seems to be much too massive to be an ordinary globular cluster – it is now thought that Globular One might be the remnant core of a dwarf galaxy that was consumed by Andromeda in the distant past.

G76 is the globular cluster with the greatest apparent brightness and is located in the eastern half of the southwest spiral arm of Andromeda. In 2006 another massive globular cluster was discovered which seems to have similar properties to G1, Globular One, and has a reddish color because of the concentration of interstellar gas.

The globular clusters in the Andromeda Galaxy have a much larger range of ages than those in the Milky Way Galaxy, with some as old as Andromeda itself, around 12 billion years, and other much younger ones in the range of from several hundred million years to five billion years old.

In 2005 a completely new type of star cluster was discovered in Andromeda – they contained hundreds of thousands of stars like regular globular clusters. However they were much different in that they were far larger across, hundreds of millions of light-years, and so hundreds of times less dense, making the distance between the stars in these new types of clusters far greater than in ordinary clusters.

In 2012 a microquasar(a burst of radio emissions from a small black hole), which is a smaller version of a quasar, was discovered in the Andromeda Galaxy. The black hole which is believed to be causing this microquasar is only about 10 solar masses large and is located near the galactic center of Andromeda. This was the first microquasar observed outside of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Satellites Of The Andromeda Galaxy

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The Andromeda Galaxy is like the Milky Way in that it has a number of smaller satellite galaxies, 14 of them are classified as dwarf galaxies. M32 and M110 are the best known and most easily observable of these. It is thought that M32 used to be a larger galaxy but had its stellar disk removed by M31 in the distant past. M110 may have a younger star population and also appears to be interacting with Andromeda, contributing to the galactic halo of Andromeda.

In 2006 it was discovered that nine of these satellite galaxies lie in the same plane which intersects the galactic core of Andromeda, instead of being randomly distributed – this may very well be because of a common gravitational tidal force effect upon these galaxies.

Andromeda Collision With Milky Way

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It is now know that the Andromeda Galaxy is slowly moving towards the Milky Way Galaxy at a rate of around 68 miles per second(110 kilometers per second), giving it a blueshift value of about .001001. The approaching velocity of the Andromeda Galaxy is much greater than its tangential, or sideways, velocity – this means that there is likely to be a direct collision between Andromeda and the Milky Way in about 4 billion years.

One possible outcome of this is that the two galaxies will merge to form a giant elliptical galaxy or disc galaxy, which is a frequent occurance among galaxies in the Universe. The fate of the Earth and its Solar System would, of course, be unknown in such an occurance. We should not be concerned though since it is highly unlikely that humans and their civilization will be around in 4 billion years.

Observing The Andromeda Galaxy

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The Andromeda Galaxy has an apparent magnitude of about 3.44, which makes it bright enough to be easily visible in moonless night skies with low levels of light pollution. It is probably best to view Andromeda during autumn nights in the Northern Hemisphere – here in the mid latitudes Andromeda reaches its zenith, the highest point, around midnight and so is visible for almost the whole night. In the Southern Hemisphere Andromeda is visible in the same months, which is spring there, but it stays close to the horizon and is much more difficult to observe unless you are close to the equator.

Andromeda is easily visible through binoculars which can reveal some of its larger structure along with its two brightest satellite galaxies, M32 and M110. With a decent size amateur telescope Andromeda’s disk, some of the brightest globular clusters, dark dust lanes, and the large star cloud designated as NGC 206 are visible.

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Can you see Andromeda with naked eyes? ›

You can see the Andromeda galaxy with the naked eye on a clear night with no moon, even in places with a little light pollution. It has an apparent magnitude of 3.44.

Which telescope is best for Andromeda Galaxy? ›

You do not need a telescope to photograph Andromeda. because it is such a large deep-sky object, a telephoto lens (or zoom-lens) will suffice. When it comes to photographing this galaxy, this most important factor is to shoot during the New Moon phase, and away from city light pollution.

What is bigger than Andromeda Galaxy? ›

Until relatively recently, it was thought that our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, was far larger than the Milky Way. But the Milky Way is, in fact, considerably larger than Andromeda.

What is the best month to see Andromeda? ›

From mid-northern latitudes, you can see Andromeda – M31 – for at least part of every night, all year long. But most people see the galaxy first around August or September, when it's high enough in the sky to be seen from evening until daybreak.

Can we survive Andromeda and Milky Way collision? ›

Luckily, experts think that Earth will survive, but it won't be entirely unaffected. The collision will unfold right in front of us, changing the night sky to look like nothing any human has seen before.

Will Andromeda swallow the Milky Way? ›

Our Milky Way is on a collision course with another spiral galaxy called Andromeda. Today Andromeda is visible as a speck of light in the night sky, but about 5 billion years from now, it will be tangled up with us. Our galaxy's spiral arms will disappear, and so will our supermassive black hole.

What is the best magnification for the Andromeda Galaxy? ›

For small and faint galaxies and larger telescopes, 200X and above in my experience work best. Of course larger apertures are better for galaxies, but for low magnifications you'll be using about 4 to 10X per inch of aperture.

Can you see Andromeda with a small telescope? ›

It will be oval in appearance – although you won't be able to make out any of the individual stars within it. The Andromeda Galaxy looks great through smaller telescope of, say, 4 inches in diameter. The galaxy appears as a larger, elongated oval shape with a core that shows up as a slightly brighter area.

What focal length do you need for Andromeda? ›

If you're using a DSLR, we recommend using a telescope with a focal length of around 300-500mm. This is a short enough focal length that all of the Andromeda Galaxy will fit easily in the field of view.

What's a cool galaxy name? ›

  • Andromeda Galaxy.
  • Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy.
  • Cygnus A.
  • Maffei I and II.
  • Magellanic Clouds.
  • Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Virgo A.

What is the strongest galaxy in the universe? ›

The biggest single entity that scientists have identified in the universe is a supercluster of galaxies called the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall. It's so wide that light takes about 10 billion years to move across the entire structure.

Does Andromeda Galaxy have life? ›

Can the Andromeda Galaxy support life? Since we can't yet say for certain whether there are any other stars in our own galaxy that host life, it is even harder to say whether there might be life, or at least the conditions for life, in another galaxy.

How many years will Andromeda hit us? ›

The Andromeda–Milky Way collision is a galactic collision predicted to occur in about 4.5 billion years between the two largest galaxies in the Local Group—the Milky Way (which contains the Solar System and Earth) and the Andromeda Galaxy.

How long until Andromeda hits the Milky Way? ›

Our Milky Way galaxy is destined to collide with our closest large neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy, in about five billion years. Scientists can predict what's going to happen. The merger will totally alter the night sky over Earth but will likely leave the solar system unharmed, according to NASA.

Will humans ever leave the Milky Way? ›

The technology required to travel between galaxies is far beyond humanity's present capabilities, and currently only the subject of speculation, hypothesis, and science fiction. However, theoretically speaking, there is nothing to conclusively indicate that intergalactic travel is impossible.

Will solar system survive Andromeda galaxy? ›

Four billion years from now, our galaxy, the Milky Way, will collide with our large spiraled neighbor, Andromeda. The galaxies as we know them will not survive. In fact, our solar system is going to outlive our galaxy.

What's bigger than a Milky Way? ›

Galaxies come in many sizes. The Milky Way is big, but some galaxies, like our Andromeda Galaxy neighbor, are much larger. The universe is all of the galaxies – billions of them!

What happens when 2 black holes collide? ›

It is possible for two black holes to collide. Once they come so close that they cannot escape each other's gravity, they will merge to become one bigger black hole.

What is eating our galaxy? ›

For years, scientists have known that the Milky Way is a cannibalistic galaxy. Now, a team of astronomers from the University of Bologna discovered evidence that the neighboring Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is also a cosmic cannibal, meaning that it's no better than the Milky Way, a report by Science Alert explains.

Are the Milky Way and Andromeda touching? ›

The Andromeda galaxy is currently racing toward our Milky Way at a speed of about 70 miles (113 km) per second. With this in mind, our merger will occur five billion years from now.

Is 10x magnification too much? ›

Geologists often like to have 5X to 10X magnification; however, anything higher than 10X is difficult to use in the field because the lenses are too small. 5X and 6X Lenses are the most popular choices for an average user as it offers higher magnification without sacrificing the field of vision (diameter of the lens).

What magnification do I need for 500 yards? ›

At 500 yards, you will need a magnification of at least 5x, and you may want to go as high as 10x. Some of this depends on what you intend to shoot. If you are shooting small targets, you'll want a greater magnification to help you find them.

How far is 4x magnification good for? ›

Sights With 1-4x Magnification

This level of magnification is great for target shooting up to approximately 100 meters, hunting smaller game, or simply defending your property. Scopes in this magnification range display up to four times larger than the actual target.

How big would Andromeda be if we could see it? ›

If you could view the full extent of the Andromeda Galaxy, it would appear shockingly large in the sky. The galaxy's disk appears as a fuzzy smudge about one-quarter of a degree wide (about half the width of the full Moon) to the naked eye, and just slightly larger through binoculars.

How strong of a telescope do you need to see the Andromeda Galaxy? ›

A five-inch Dobsonian telescope will (on a clear night well away from light pollution) provide enough detail to begin to make out the spiral arms, but we'll never get the same amazing images we see from space observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope.

How dark does it need to be to see Andromeda? ›

You will need a very dark sky with no moonlight and a clear view to the northern horizon to see Andromeda. Using a star chart or a free online tool like SkySafari AR or Stellarium will help you find Andromeda. First, using a star chart or app, search for and locate the star called Mirach low on the northern horizon.

Which focal length is most realistic? ›

The 85mm lens is considered the best fixed focal length lens for portraits. The narrow angle of view helps isolate the subject better and allows you to shoot from a comfortable working distance. Portraits taken at 85mm look the most natural because facial features don't get distorted.

Is a 10mm lens good for astrophotography? ›

This lens works well for Micro Four Thirds and APS-C format astrophotography, where the lack of autofocus isn't really a drawback. It's great value at the price. See our full Samyang 10mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS CS review (opens in new tab).

What focal length best matches the human eye? ›

Although the human eye has a focal length of approximately 22 mm, this is misleading because (i) the back of our eyes are curved, (ii) the periphery of our visual field contains progressively less detail than the center, and (iii) the scene we perceive is the combined result of both eyes.

Is Mars a girl name? ›

The name Mars is both a boy's name and a girl's name of Latin origin. Men may be from Mars, but now that not one but two celebrities -- singer Erykah Badu and Workaholics star Blake Anderson -- have named their daughters Mars, we have to add it to the girls' roster.

What is a galaxy girl? ›

She is the title character of a comic book and popular TV show and Gaby's idol. In the show and stories, Galaxy Girl is either a human or a humanoid alien from the planet Fluton.

Is Phoenix a rare name? ›

The name has been among the one thousand most popular names for boys in the United States since 1995 and among the top three hundred names for boys since 2017. It has been among the top one thousand names for American girls since 2003 and among the top three hundred names for American girls since 2020.

What is the oldest galaxy? ›

Poring over some of the earliest science observations the telescope took, they found a galaxy that stood out from the rest. Named GLASS-z13, this appears to be the oldest galaxy we've ever seen. GLASS-z13 in JWST NIRCam (Naidu et al. 2022).

What is the 2nd biggest galaxy? ›

Second: Hercules A

The elliptical galaxy designated as Hercules A is the second-largest galaxy known to exist. Hercules A has an estimated diameter of 1.5 million light-years, and like IC 1101, it is classified as a supergiant elliptical galaxy.

What's bigger than a universe? ›

No, the universe contains all solar systems, and galaxies. Our Sun is just one star among the hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy, and the universe is made up of all the galaxies – billions of them.

Is Andromeda a star or galaxy? ›

How old is the Sun? ›

Is our galaxy moving? ›

The Milky Way itself is moving through the vastness of intergalactic space. Our galaxy belongs to a cluster of nearby galaxies, the Local Group, and together we are easing toward the center of our cluster at a leisurely 25 miles a second.

Is Andromeda currently visible? ›

With an apparent magnitude of 3.4, the Andromeda Galaxy is among the brightest of the Messier objects, and is visible to the naked eye from Earth on moonless nights, even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution.

What does Andromeda actually look like? ›

It will be oval in appearance – although you won't be able to make out any of the individual stars within it. The Andromeda Galaxy looks great through smaller telescope of, say, 4 inches in diameter. The galaxy appears as a larger, elongated oval shape with a core that shows up as a slightly brighter area.

Is Andromeda visible in sky? ›

At 2.5 million light-years from Earth, the Andromeda Galaxy is the most distant object visible with the naked eye. It's the closest major galaxy to the Milky Way, and can only be seen if you have a really dark sky.

What is the closest galaxy to the Milky Way 2022? ›

Andromeda Galaxy visible in October 2022

The Andromeda Galaxy (also known as M31 or NGC 224) is the closest large spiral galaxy to the Milky Way. Initially, this galaxy was considered to be a nebula, so you can sometimes hear it being called the Andromeda Nebula, too.

What will Andromeda look like in 4 billion years? ›

Third Row, Right: In 4 billion years Andromeda is tidally stretched and the Milky Way becomes warped. Fourth Row, Left: In 5.1 billion years the cores of the Milky Way and Andromeda appear as a pair of bright lobes.

Is the Milky Way older than Andromeda? ›

And in terms of the stars present, the Andromeda galaxy's stars are much older, and its star-formation rate is much lower: only about 20-30% that of the Milky Way.

Is Andromeda a star or a galaxy? ›

Is Andromeda immortal or mortal? ›

6- Is Andromeda immortal? She was a mortal goddess but became immortal when she was put among the stars after her death to make up a constellation.

What God is Andromeda? ›

Andromeda, in Greek mythology, beautiful daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiope of Joppa in Palestine (called Ethiopia) and wife of Perseus. Cassiope offended the Nereids by boasting that Andromeda was more beautiful than they, so in revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to devastate Cepheus' kingdom.

Does Andromeda galaxy have life? ›

Can the Andromeda Galaxy support life? Since we can't yet say for certain whether there are any other stars in our own galaxy that host life, it is even harder to say whether there might be life, or at least the conditions for life, in another galaxy.

Is Earth in a galaxy? ›

We live on a planet called Earth that is part of our solar system. But where is our solar system? It's a small part of the Milky Way Galaxy.


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