EPOD 20th - The Splendid Andromeda Spiral Galaxy

September 24, 2020


We’re celebrating 20 years of Earth Science Picture of the Day during the month of September! Today’s photo features a popular EPOD from the past. Thanks to all of our followers (on the blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for supporting us. Thanks also to all of you who’ve submitted your photos. We’re most appreciative. This EPOD was originally published December 28, 2018.

Photographer: Greg Parker 
Summary Author: Greg Parker 

Featured above is perhaps the crown jewel of extragalactic space, the splendid Andromeda Galaxy or M31, the closest, large spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. In spite of its vast distance (2.5 million light years away from us) it can be seen with the unaided eye because of its intense brightness and enormous size. M31 has a magnitude of 3.4 and a diameter approximately 1.5 times that of the Milky Way. Look for it away from city lights on clear, moonless nights using averted vision. Note that satellite galaxy M110 is at lower right center and M32 is at left center, just above M31's core. Images acquired at the New Forest Observatory in England and processed by Noel Carboni.