Messier 31 - The Andromeda Galaxy

M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy
AKA: NGC 224 | UGCA 4543 | PGC 2557, J2000 RA: 00h42m44.324s, Dec: +41°16m08.53s, Mag: 3.4, Distance: 765 kpc, Size: 178x63 arc min, Type: SA(s)b.

Located 2.5 million light years away, the Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy similar to our own Milky Way, but somewhat larger. It is the dominant member of the “Local Group” of galaxies to which our galaxy also belongs. M31 and the Milky Way are moving towards each other and will collide perhaps in 5 billion years.

When I look at this galaxy through my telescope, I only see the bright core of it, similar to the image above. You need a very wide field telescope or binoculars and a clear, steady night to trace out the full extent of this galaxy in the sky. It’s apparent size is equal to about 6 full Moons across!

It has two companion galaxies (M32 and M110) which are also listed in this gallery.