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Great Galloping Galaxies in 4GB!

January24

The Hubble Space Telescope of ESA has captured the largest and sharpest image of the Andromeda galaxy that lies at a distance of 2.5 million light years. The image was first released at the meeting of 225th meeting of American Astronomical Society (AAS) in early January and is comprised of 1.5 billion pixels. It uses over 4GB of disk space! This highlighted section shows the appropriate scale of Andromeda when viewed in the night sky:

AndromedaLocaleThe cameras of the Hubble resolved individual stars in a region 61,000 light years across. According to NASA scientists, this degree of resolution is comparable to isolating individual sand grains in a photo of a beach. The image has captured over 100 million stars in the smaller composite image. You would need 600 HD television screens to get an idea of how massive the picture is.

This video, uploaded on YouTube, provides an animated version of the image. The video has been viewed more than 5 million times since it was uploaded. Enjoy!
Andromeda2

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