Astronomy Photo Overnight Thread- Herschel's Andromeda



Herschel's Andromeda
Image Credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS & SPIRE Consortium, O. Krause, HSC, H. Linz

Explanation: This infrared view from the Herschel Space Observatory explores the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest large spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. Only 2.5 million light-years distant, the famous island universe is also known to astronomers as M31. Andromeda spans over 200,000 light-years making it more than twice the size of the Milky Way. Shown in false color, the image data reveal the cool dust lanes and clouds that still shine in the infrared but are otherwise dark and opaque at visual wavelengths. Red hues near the galaxy's outskirts represent the glow of dust heated by starlight to a few tens of degrees above absolute zero. Blue colors correspond to hotter dust warmed by stars in the more crowded central core.

  • Yes, if you saw it with your own eyes, it would appear blue, due to doppler light effects which means if something approaches you at relativistic speeds, it will appear blue.  Cause that's what's happening.  Andromeda is on a collision course with our galaxy and as we speak White House officials are furiously shopping around for Galactic Auto Insurance, having already spoken to some form of Galatic Gekko with a Cockney Accent.  

    Of course, it will take a long time for the Andromeda intruder to approach the far flung arms of our own breathless Galaxy, black-hole heart thumping in its boson- okay, I'm getting carried away.  ;D

  • Paddy

    Thanks so much caroline! We try like crazy to keep ppl happy but I'm a astronomy freak from way back. Fascinating stuff.

  • Brilliant!! Now I had better go get an astronomy class to really understand this incredible phenomena, or just read this in the morning well after the affects of my glass of wine have disappeared. 

    What I do know is that GottLaff and The Political Carnival if one of the best that I follow on Twitter.