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July 24, 1995
M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Credit: The Electronic Universe Project
Andromeda is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way
Galaxy. Our Galaxy is thought to look much like Andromeda.
Together these two galaxies dominate the Local Group of galaxies.
The diffuse light from Andromeda is caused by the hundreds of billions
of stars that compose it. The several distinct stars that surround
are actually stars in our Galaxy that are well in front of the background
Andromeda is frequently referred to as M31 since it is
the 31st object on
list of diffuse sky objects. M31 is so distant it takes about 2 million
years for light to reach us from there.
For more information on M31 see The Electronic Universe Project's
Many images of Messier objects can be found in
The Electronic Universe Project's
The Galaxy Gallery: Messier Objects.
Tomorrow's picture: M1: The Crab Nebula
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