Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hubble Telescope Captures 1.5 Billion-Pixel Shot of Andromeda Galaxy Stretching 48,000 Light-Years

The newly-released image stretches across about 48,000 light-years of the galaxy's disk, according to Hubble officials. In total, the image shows more than 100 million stars in the galaxy. Hubble officials revealed the new photo during a news conference here at the 225th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. [See more amazing Hubble Space Telescope photos]

"Hubble traces densely packed stars extending from the innermost hub of the galaxy, seen at left," Hubble representatives said in a statement. "Moving out from this central galactic bulge, the panorama sweeps from the galaxy's central bulge across lanes of stars and dust to the sparser outer disk."

Scientists can use this image to help them interpret other spiral galaxies like the Andromeda galaxy that might have similar light signatures, but are farther from Earth.

The panorama was created as part of the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) program. This image was created as a mosaic of 7,398 exposures taken over the course of 411 pointings of the telescope, according to Hubble officials.

Click on image to see a bit more detail

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