Alkina: I would like to turn your attention to one of my favorite celestial objects, the Andromeda galaxy.
Epo: Otherwise known as M31 or NGC 224.
Alkina: Of course, you probably have your own designation for it.
Ambassador 1: It does not make it any less magnificent.
Alkina: That is true. Epo, please highlight some facts about Andromeda.
Epo: Andromeda is named after a princess in Greek mythology.
Epo: M31 is the largest of the galaxies in our local group of galaxies. At a disk span of 260,000 light-years, M31 is twice the size of Milky Way. Despite its size, M31 has a mass less than that of Milky Way. It is the closest spiral
galaxy to our own Milky Way at a distance of about 2.5 million light years.
Epo: The first recorded observation of M31 took place in 964 by a Persian astronomer, Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi.
Ambassador 2: Ah, it must be visible to the naked eye then.
Alkina: Yes, it is. The telescope had not been invented when Al-Sufi made his observation. It is the most distant object that can be seen, unaided, by the human eye.
Epo: M31 and the Milky Way are gravita-tionally bound in such a way that they will collide in about 2.5 billion years.
Alkina: But… we don’t have to worry about that.
Is that all?
IYA Discovery Guide – October’s theme is What is the Fate of the Universe? Find out about how it all started, where we are going, and what will happen when the Andromeda Galaxy collides with the Milky Way.
Andromeda Litho – was created by GALEX Space Telescope Education and Public Outreach to highlight how it is studying our nearest galactic neighbor.
Andromeda, the island universe – Astronomy Picture of the Day highlights the Andromeda Galaxy.
Andromeda in the news – News and pictures related to Andromeda.
Swift looks at Andromeda – NASA’s Swift mission takes the best-ever ultraviolet image of the Andromeda Galaxy.