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024517

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope infrared view of the famous galaxy Messier 31, also known as Andromeda. Spitzer's 24-micron mosaic (main image) is the sharpest image ever taken of the dust in a spiral galaxy, other than our Milky Way. Asymmetrical features are seen in the prominent ring of star formation, which appears to be split into two pieces, forming the hole to the lower right. These features may have been caused by interactions with satellite galaxies around Andromeda as they plunged through its disk. At optical wavelengths, the centre of the galaxy is dominated by a large bulge. This bulge is far less pronounced in the Spitzer 24-micron infrared image, allowing us to see the delicate tracings of spiral arms in the inner region that reach into the centre of the galaxy.

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024517 (1).jpg
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Irish Photo Archive
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NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope infrared view of the famous galaxy Messier 31, also known as Andromeda. Spitzer's 24-micron mosaic (main image) is the sharpest image ever taken of the dust in a spiral galaxy, other than our Milky Way. Asymmetrical features are seen in the prominent ring of star formation, which appears to be split into two pieces, forming the hole to the lower right. These features may have been caused by interactions with satellite galaxies around Andromeda as they plunged through its disk. At optical wavelengths, the centre of the galaxy is dominated by a large bulge. This bulge is far less pronounced in the Spitzer 24-micron infrared image, allowing us to see the delicate tracings of spiral arms in the inner region that reach into the centre of the galaxy.