The Ultraviolet Andromeda Galaxy : 2012

Photograph by

Robert Hurt

About this image

Hot stars burn brightly in this ultraviolet view of the Andromeda Galaxy. The blue-white colours define the spiral arms in which young, hot, massive stars reside. Between them are darker blue-grey lines where dust obscures star formation regions. The Andromeda Galaxy, catalogued by astronomers as Messier 31, is the nearest large galaxy to our own Milky Way sitting about 2.5 million light years away. It is bright enough that the core is visible with the naked eye on a clear night as a slightly fuzzy star-like object. The data for this image were gathered by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite. Shortwave ultraviolet radiation is shown in blue and longwave ultraviolet in orange. Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA.