Hubble's New Andromeda Galaxy Image is 1.5 Billion Pixels of Awesome

Hubble's New Andromeda Galaxy Image is 1.5 Billion Pixels of Awesome

If there is one questions we can undoubtedly answer, it's that the galaxy is larger than any of us can possibly comprehend. Though with help from the astonishing teams at NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) along with the Hubble Space Telescope we can get just a glimpse of how massive it really is with an image containing and astonishing 1.5 billion pixels. 

The single largest image ever taken of the Andromeda Galaxy were obtained from viewing it in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wave lengths, using the advanced camera for surveys aboard the Hubble. Being a large spiral galaxy located 2.5 million light years from Earth, it contains 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters spanning 40,000 light years in distance and is hands down one of the most epic sights. You can see it right here in all its glory. With that, you can zoom into every single star located in the image one by one in stunning detail. Truly putting question to whether we can be the only species of our kind in this vastness of space, it's hard to believe it's fact but currently it's what we know. 

This image is merely a section of the entire galaxy and you can see the full reach here

[via Cosmos Magazine]

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6 Comments

J H's picture

Ah space pr0n, how I love thee. NASA/ESA <3

Paulo Macedo's picture

Holly smokes!!! We can see the stars on M 31 / Andromeda Galaxy. Amazing the crazy ammount of red giants, lots of old stars!

Josh Robertson's picture

I'm assuming that each spec (when zoomed in) is itself a star, and not just digital noise. Absolutely unfathomable... And further, this is but one galaxy out of an estimated 100 billion in the known universe. <Insert any Carl Sagan quote about the insignificance of our own planet or species here.>

J H's picture

I have a very hi-res file from NASA/ESA that's public domain (10 megapixels approx), the detail when zoomed in is pretty remarkable for a JPEG type file.

Chris Smart's picture

I was expecting something more impressive than just a lot of pixels. It also gets a bit old how ESA tries to take equal credit with NASA as if it was their telescope. ESA simply provided some work on the telescope to get a small amount of time of use with the telescope. They also had nothing to do with creating this panorama. The Americans in the link below created this panorama.

http://www.astro.washington.edu/groups/phat/People.html

Daniel Pryce's picture

For anyone not shooting RAW because they say "it takes too long to transfer off the card", NASA is transmitting 16 bit RAW files 1 billion kilometers, almost 4 billion if you count the New Horizons probe.