Andromeda, also known as M31, is the nearest large galaxy to us. At “only” 2 million light-years away, it gives us the best chance to study another spiral galaxy besides our own. I get particularly impressed by the high resolution images we can get, since it’s so close to us. Andromeda looks like this in visible light:
And it looks like this in the ultra-violet:
But recently, a few very, very high-resolution pictures were taken, woven together to create a mosaic, and released to the public. The Ultraviolet light one — made by the Swift satellite — just came out today, but I thought I’d show you both the UV ones and the visible light ones.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll keep the words brief and the pictures plentiful as we zoom in. First, the UV:
And now for the visible:
Somehow, I could stare at these for hours, especially the visible light image. Go here to download the ultra high-resolution images in UV and here for the visible light ones. And enjoy what is now my new desktop wallpaper!