The Andromeda galaxy (M31) located over 2 million light-years away

The Andromeda galaxy (M31) located over 2 million light-years away is shown in this largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled covering 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy and released on January 6, 2015. This ambitious photographic cartography of the Andromeda galaxy represents a new benchmark for precision studies of large spiral galaxies that dominate the universe’s population of over 100 billion galaxies. Never before have astronomers been able to see individual stars inside an external spiral galaxy over such a large contiguous area. Most of the stars in the universe live inside such majestic star cities, and this is the first data that reveal populations of stars in context to their home galaxy. REUTERS

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