New Awesome Views of Andromeda Galaxy

Two new stunning views of Andromeda galaxy are observed recently from  the Herschel space observatory.

The ring-like swirls of dust filling the Andromeda galaxy stand out colorfully in this new image from the Herschel Space Observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation. Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/NHSC
The glow seen in the picture above comes from the longer-wavelength, or far, end of the infrared spectrum, giving astronomers the chance to identify the very coldest dust in our galactic neighbor. These light wavelengths span from 250 to 500 microns, which are a quarter to half of a millimeter in size. Herschel's ability to detect the light allows astronomers to see clouds of dust at temperatures of only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero. These clouds are dark and opaque at shorter wavelengths. The Herschel view also highlights spokes of dust between the concentric rings.

In this new view of the Andromeda galaxy from the Herschel space observatory, cool lanes of forming stars are revealed in the finest detail yet. Herschel is a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation. Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS & SPIRE Consortium, O. Krause, HSC, H. Linz
The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth. It is estimated to have up to one trillion stars, whereas the Milky Way contains hundreds of billions.

The Herschel Space Observatory is a European Space Agency space observatory sensitive to the far infrared and submillimetre wavebands. The Herschel Observatory is capable of seeing the coldest and dustiest objects in space; for example, cool cocoons where stars form and dusty galaxies just starting to bulk up with new stars.

[via NASA/JPL]