10 facts about Andromeda galaxy you never knew ?
10 facts about Andromeda galaxy you never knew !
|Amazing Andromeda galaxy|
Andromeda galaxy, the neighbouring galaxy to our Milky way is the brightest and possibly the most distant celestial body visible to naked eye. Its a giant spiral galaxy same as the size of ours but brighter than ours as well. Its the largest and brightest galaxy among the local group of 30 more galaxies including Milky way.
Basic information : Andromeda galaxy
Designation : M31 or NGC 224
Type : Spiral
Diameter : 220,000 light years
Distance : 2.54 million light years
Mass : 1,230 billion M
Stars : 1 trillion
Constellation : Andromeda
Group : local group
10 facts about Andromeda galaxy
During primitive time when our knowledge of space was diminished comparitively to that of today. The Andromeda galaxy back then was classed as a Nebula because the edge of Milky way was considered the edge of Space. And at that time it was called "The Great Andromeda Nebula".
- Firstly it was classed as a Nebula
|Trillions of stars|
Observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope has shown the presence of 2,753 visible star clusters inside Andromeda which could account any closer to a Trillion stars inside the galaxy if not more, which is twice the number of stars inside our own Milky way.
- Andromeda galaxy has a trillion stars
- Its the hugest galaxy close to our own
Andromeda galaxy, our neighbouring galaxy is a huge galaxy in terms of its size and composition within the local group. It is about 2.5 times longer than the Milky Way.
- Andromeda is one of the few space objects known from ancient times
Its quite a norm that Andromeda is quite a familiar face to look upto as it has been observable to us from ancient times due to its size and brightness in the night sky. Andromeda galaxy in the night sky can cover upto 6 full moons, even though being so distanced from us.
- The entire life history is known
Yes you got it right. We are fully aware of its entire life history and somehow its future as well. The Andromeda galaxy was born about 10 billion years ago and around 8 billion years ago it went on in an head on collision with another giant galaxy, creating the M31 galaxy we witness today.
- It holds a grave secret
The Andromeda galaxy has its own secrets visible in its star clouds. It is believed that these star clouds are the remains of its primitive form which distorted but is still in there after its collision to become the giant it is today. Furthermore Andromeda has a double nuclei visible at its core, the double nuclei signifies the junction of both the galaxies which had collided to become one giant spiral galaxy but the paradox may be that it doesn't have a double nuclei but rather it appears to have one !
- Dozens of black holes
Black holes are quite common at the center of a galaxy but this giant has indeed more visible black holes than any other in the local group (by visible we mean here that there is substantial proof of the presence of black holes, black holes are actually invisible due to antipresence of light, they are only observable when they suck any form of body emitting light.) . There are 26 known black hole candidates inside Andromeda along with the supergiant black hole in the centre. The central black hole is surrounded by two more black holes appearing as a binary. The estimated mass of the central giant black hole in Andromeda is about 140 million times to that of our Sun.
- It is a gallactic bully !
Andromeda is a huge spiral galaxy and it bullies around with smaller galaxies like a boss. M32 and M110 two smaller galaxies have lost their rings and shreds considerably after their respective collisions with Andromeda.
|In 4 billion years|
The Andromeda galaxy would
Collide with Milky way
- It's on a collision course again
Andromeda and Milky way are all set to collide with each other in about 4 billion years from now. In the time when everything in the Universe is moving away due to its expansion, Andromeda is blue shifting that is moving close to us at speeds of 120 kms (75 miles) per second for a gallactic mashup with Milky way. The consequences are quite unimaginable and we may not be there to see the gallactic catastrophe.
- It is not as blue as it may be seen
Andromeda appears to be quite bluish to us, (bluish colour in a galaxy denotes the birth of young stars) but it may not be the truth as we always get a side way view of the galaxy, and the distance which aparts us from Andromeda is enough to be misleading us from its composition and present state. But who knows what future observations can reveal about our gigantic neighbour.
Andromeda has always been an exciting neighbour and a topic of curiosity. Its formation and composition is somehow quite similar to that of ours. If humans manage to hold themselves for long, don't go anywhere because we are in a treat to witness within 4 billion years of time.
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