Andromeda Galaxy

What Is in The Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda galaxy is the closest galaxy to ours, only 2.5 million light years away, making it one of the most interesting objects in the night sky. It’s so convenient that we can see details in this galaxy even with our naked eyes.

In the early 1920s, astronomers decided to take a closer look at this ‘nebula’, as they called it. In one of those images, astronomers saw something extraordinary – there was no starry background behind the object. This indicated that the ‘nebula’ was something separate from the background of Milky Way – either a star cluster, a galaxy or a supernova remnant.

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In 1925, Edwin Hubble determined that this nebula was indeed another galaxy using Cepheid variable stars in its nucleus to calculate its distance. This showed that it is over a million light years away, thus Andromeda is more than twice as far from Earth as the most distant known object at that time – the great nebula in Orion.

In 1930, Hubble developed his law for determining distances to galaxies from their radial velocities and by applying it to Andromeda he found that it was much more distant than previously thought, around 2 million light years away.

What Does Andromeda Mean

The name Andromeda comes from Ancient Greek, from andros (man) + medesthai, (to be mindful of), meaning “mindful of man”. The legend says that the king of Ethiopia, Cepheus, had a daughter named Cassiopeia. She used to boast that she was more beautiful than all other nymphs in the sea and even Hera, Zeus’s wife. Angered by this Poseidon sent a sea monster Cetus to ravage the coast.

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Why Is the Galaxy Called Andromeda

The galaxy’s named after the princess of Greek mythology Andromeda. She was the daughter of Cassiopeia, a mythical queen with an extremely vain personality. According to Greek mythology, Andromeda was princess who was chained to the rocks by her mother, Cassiopeia, as an offering to Poseidon for saving their country from the sea monster. The myth says that, before she’s eaten by the monster, Perseus arrives on his white winged horse Pegasus, saves her and even marries her.

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Why Is the Andromeda Galaxy Important

There are few reasons for looking at the Andromeda galaxy, first of all, it’s the closest galaxy to us. It’s located 2,5 million light years from our planet, so we can see its whole structure and all the details without any special equipment. According to scientists, this galaxy consists of a trillion stars just like ours, which means that there could be planets around it too.

Even though we don’t know yet if the Andromeda galaxy is home to planets, it’s believed that there might be. It’s even possible that some of these planets could harbor life and maybe even alien civilizations. There is one possible extragalactic planet, temporarily named PA-99-N2b.

The Andromeda galaxy is heading towards the Milky Way, however, scientists expect that to happen in about 4 billion years. It’s expected that many stars will be torn off their orbits and then redirected into our galaxy or just shot out into open space forming a cosmic stream. While Earth may survive the collision with Andromeda galaxy, scientists say that everything on our planet will be wiped out.

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How Many Stars Are There in Andromeda?

Andromeda galaxy has approximately one trillion stars and more than twice the amount of all the other stars we can see in our night sky. Andromeda Galaxy was born from a huge galactic collision, and it still has it scars: a giant central bulge and the two prominent spiral arms. It is also expected that Andromeda contains hundreds of millions of stars which don’t belong to any of these structures, but are in between them.

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How Far Is Andromeda from Earth

The distance from Earth to the Andromeda galaxy is approximately 2.537 million light years. It sounds too far away, but with a powerful enough telescope, we can take a look at this galaxy.

According to scientists, it would take around 2.4 million years using today’s fastest spacecraft to get to Andromeda. Even though they have been trying to speed up the process, there is no spaceship that could get us this far within a human lifetime without travelling near the speed of light – which isn’t possible yet.

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How Old Is the Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda galaxy is approximately 10 billion years old, compared to the Milky Way, which is around 13.5 billion years old, and the age of the universe (13.8 billion years old), it’s a young adult in galactic terms.

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