On January 15, 2015 NASA and ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope released the most detailed image of the Andromeda Galaxy ever taken. At 1.5 billion pixels, this image offers viewers an unprecedented depth of detail that includes more than 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters spread across 40,000 light-years.
The image file requires 4.3GB of disk space and offers 69,536 x 22,230 pixels.
Also known as M31, the Andromeda Galaxy “is the nearest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy, but not the nearest galaxy overall.” After extensive data collected in 2006 by the Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists believe there are approximately 1 trillion stars in the Andromeda galaxy, which is more than twice the number of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy that has an estimated 200 – 400 billion stars.
After looking at the video and image, one can’t help but notice not only the sheer scale of M31, but also the sheer vastness of space. Fortunately, NASA has several projects in the works that will continue to offer humankind the reality check it so often needs.