NASA’s Picture of the Day Reveals a Star Cloud in Andromeda in All Its Beauty

NASA’s Picture of the Day Reveals a Star Cloud in Andromeda in All Its Beauty
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By looking at how huge our Milky Way galaxy is, as it measures 100,000 light-years in diameter, you might be tempted to say that there cannot be any other galaxy out there in the Universe that’s bigger. If so, you should clearly bite your tongue!

As soon as someone shows you the ropes when it comes to astronomy, and you learn a few basic principles about the field, you realize that our galaxy is just one out of trillions more that exist out there. Even our neighboring galaxy, which is known as Andromeda, is much larger: it measures 220,000 light-years in diameter, which means more than double the one of the Milky Way.

The NGC 206 star cloud from Andromeda enters the cosmic scene

A new Picture of the Day by NASA reveals the star cloud known as NGC 206, which is located in our neighboring Andromeda galaxy. The object is also known as Messier 31, and it’s located approximately 2.5 million light-years away from Earth. The star cloud can also be considered a spiral galaxy.

Part of NASA’s explanation regarding the space object sounds like this:

The bright, blue stars of NGC 206 indicate its youth. In fact, its youngest massive stars are less than 10 million years old. Much larger than the open or galactic clusters of young stars in the disk of our Milky Way galaxy, NGC 206 spans about 4,000 light-years. That’s comparable in size to the giant stellar nurseries NGC 604 in nearby spiral M33 and the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

In the book of a person who’s not familiar with a few basic concepts in astronomy, star clouds could seem intimidating at first. But once they dive more into the subject, they can realize the unfathomable beauty of such cosmic objects.

Despite the distance that separates us from the Andromeda galaxy, the latter remains one of the brightest objects in the night sky for the human eye.

 


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Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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