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TinWiki: Andromeda Galaxy

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posted on Jul, 9 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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The Andromeda Galaxy, some times known as Messier 31, M31 and NGC 224 is a galaxy approximately 2.5 million light years from our own Milky Way galaxy. It is the closest spiral galaxy to our own galaxy and is even visible from Earth on some nights, it appears to be a faint smudge to the naked eye. This galaxy is one of the three 'local' galaxies which consist of, Andromeda, Milky Way and the Triangulum Galaxy; there are around 30 other small galaxies, although from some of Hubble's space photos people are guessing in the thousands to even millions. In space appearances may be deceiving, the Andromeda galaxy is the largest galaxy out of the local three, but it may not be the most massive. Some scientists suggest that the Milky Way contains more dark matter than Andromeda and therefore may be the most massive grouping. By using the Spitzer space telescope we believe that there may be over one trillion stars, which greatly exceeds the number in the Milky Way, if this is to be true than we would only be around 80% of the mass of Andromeda. Bad news for all is that in about 2.5 billion years it is thought that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are going to crash into each other with a force that no one can think of. This is thought to be the way that creation of an elliptical galaxy happens.



 





External Links

Some general information on the Andromeda galaxy
A scientific website about the science of M31 (Andromeda)

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