The US space agency NASA shared the “largest ever image” of the Andromeda Galaxy from the Hubble Space Telescope on Sunday. The photo was taken seven years ago and is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic neighbor.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the image shows the 48,000 light-year stretch of the Andromeda Galaxy with more than 100 million stars in view. The panoramic image is split into three parts in the Instagram post, with the final part showing a band of blue stars with countless stars scattered across the image.
Take a look below:
“This image is split into three images. The first image shows a bright spot emanating from the lower left portion of the Andromeda Galaxy with bands extending in all directions. The light recedes in the upper quarter of the image to become mostly black and chunks of blue space with countless stars. The second photo has light dissipating with bands of purple and blue giving way to black space,” NASA wrote in the legend.
Since being shared, the image has left netizens mesmerized. It has accumulated more than a million likes. One user wrote, “It’s extraordinarily beautiful.” Another said: “It’s phenomenal. “Absolutely amazing,” commented the third.
The space agency explained that because the Andromeda galaxy is 2.5 million light-years away, thousands of star clusters can be identified. NASA said our galaxy, the Milky Way, and Andromeda are similar in size and shape.
Notably, the image was first posted in 2015 and re-shared yesterday. It shows a 48,000 light-year span of the galaxy in its “natural visible light color”, the agency had declared. “Because the galaxy is only 2.5 million light-years from Earth, it’s a much bigger target in the sky than the myriad of galaxies that Hubble routinely photographs billions of years away. -light,” NASA explained.