NASA and ESA Snap Largest, Sharpest Ever Picture of Andromeda Galaxy

NASA and ESA Snap Largest, Sharpest Ever Picture of Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy Hubble 2015 310x

1.5 billion pixels of Andromeday goodness.

NASA and the ESA (those rad chaps across the pond that recently dropped the Rosetta probe and Philae lander on a comet) have released a fresh image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

We now have the largest, and sharpest ever image of galaxy M31, more commonly known as Andromeda. The image has over 1.54 billion pixels, with an original resolution of 69536x22230. To put the size of the image in perspective? That's more total pixels than 186 of the latest and greatest 4K televisions (which typically rock a 3840x2160 screen resolution). The mosaic image is 411 individual images stitched together.

"Images were obtained from viewing the galaxy in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard Hubble," says the Space Telescope release. "This view shows the galaxy in its natural visible-light color as photographed in red and blue filters."

Andromeda is our (the Milky Way's) closest spiral galaxy neighbor, at only 2.5 million light years away. (Our closest galactic neighbor is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, which, oddly enough, exists inside the Milky Way.) Because of Andromeda's proximity, it's a favorite photographic target for our little blue marble, and this latest image shows exactly why that's the case.

How many stars are visible within the image? Over 100 million, and the image shows a small chunk of space that stretches over 40,000 light years.

While we have a reduced size image down below, the original image can be seen here, complete with a zoom tool. You can also download the original image -- although the 4.3 GB file size might keep you from that. The BitTorrent magnet link for the image is here.

Andromeda Galaxy Hubble 2015 650x

Source: Space Telescope (via NASA/ESA)

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Oh how beautiful the galaxy that will consume the Milky Way in 4 billion years is! XD
http://www.space.com/15946-galaxy-smash-milky-andromeda-collision-video.html

Can i watch it in like 2000p somewhere? The pic in the article is only a thumbnail

Vicarious Reality:
Can i watch it in like 2000p somewhere? The pic in the article is only a thumbnail

Yeah, I followed the source of the article and found this: http://www.spacetelescope.org/static/archives/images/screen/heic1502a.jpg (still loading on my machine)
They also offer a more easy to navigate zoom version: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1502a/zoomable/

EDIT: Looks like the first link isn't that big, and my second link isn't loading properly. They're probably under some heavy load by people who want to watch it.

My god, it's full of-

*Gets slapped*

Naaarf..

(In short, very nice, NASA peoples.)

Devin Connors:
(Our closest galactic neighbor is the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, which, oddly enough, exists inside the Milky Way.)

And it's behind on the rent again, the little moocher.

I wonder... how long before we've got something capable of taking high-detail pictures of individual stars in a different galaxy? Or even managing to snap a shot of an exoplanet here in our own "backyard"?

Friggging Sweet! Imma gonna download the whole thing and use it as a massive sky dome in space for my next animation project. Might have to downscale it something fierce if it impacts the render-times to astronomical levels as I am good in the RAM department. It is for personal, non-commercial use but I wonder how much NASA would ask for if I were to want to use it commercially for a personal project. Do they even license out these ultra-resolution images?

 

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