Heavenly Andromeda Galaxy Bears A Halo

The Andromeda Galaxy is one of the very few galaxies that can be seen from the Earth with nothing more than the naked eye. However, what can’t be seen is the heavenly Andromeda galaxy. Don’t fret, it’s the same galaxy. The only difference is the halo it bears, which the Hubble Space Telescope has recently captured.

Hubble Finds a Halo
The Hubble took a bird’s eye view, sweeping over the galaxy. It turns out, this new picture is the sharpest and largest image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy. The Hubble is so powerful that it can show individual stars in a galaxy that’s 61,000 light years long. It’s like taking a picture of the beach and showing each and every individual grain of sand.

In the Andromeda galaxy picture, there are at least 100 million stars, within thousands of clusters. The Andromeda Galaxy is one of the closest galaxies to the Milky Way. It appears in the constellation of Andromeda, which is how it received its name. The constellation was actually named after a mythological princess, Andromeda. Within the constellation, there are several other galaxies, including the Milky Way, Triangulum galaxy and about forty-four more. Although the Milky Way was believed to be the most massive of these galaxies (due to its dark matter), this is not exactly the case. The Andromeda Galaxy actually takes the throne. Containing about one trillion stars, the Andromeda Galaxy has twice that of the Milky Way.

Hubble Gives Us Details of Andromeda Galaxy
Before this latest picture and before the Hubble Telescope, it was impossible to see individual stars as clear as they are seen now. The heavenly Andromeda galaxy, specifically, has a huge halo consisting of gas. The Hubble Space Telescope revealed that this halo is more than six times bigger and 1,000 times even more massive than what was measured previously. It’s possible that the Andromeda and the Milky Way will come together and form a giant, elliptical galaxy in about four billion years. The halo of the heavenly Andromeda Galaxy is estimated to contain at least half the mass of all the stars in the galaxy in itself. It takes on the form of a hot, diffuse gas.