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~0.8-1.5×1012[9] [10] M☉

Number of stars ~1 trillion (1012)[12]

Size ~220 kly (diameter)[11]

Apparent size (V) 3.167° × 1°[1]

Other designations

M31, NGC 224, UGC 454, PGC 2557, 2C 56 (Core),[1] CGCG 535-17, MCG +07-02-016, IRAS 00400+4059, 2MASX J00424433+4116074, GC 116, h 50, Bode 3, Flamsteed 58, Hevelius 32, Ha 3.3, IRC +40013

See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
(/ænˈdrɒmɪdə/), named after the mythological Princess Andromeda, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is a spiral galaxy approximately 780 kiloparsecs (2.5 million light-years) from Earth, and the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way.[4] Its name stems from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda. The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope
Spitzer Space Telescope
revealed that the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
contains approximately one trillion stars,[10] more than twice the number of the Milky Way’s estimated 200-400 billion stars.[13] The Andromeda Galaxy, spanning approximately 220,000 light years, is the largest galaxy in our Local Group, which is also home to the Triangulum Galaxy
Galaxy
and other minor galaxies. The Andromeda Galaxy's mass is estimated to be around 1.76 times that of the Milky Way
Milky Way
Galaxy (~0.8-1.5×1012 solar masses [9][10] vs the Milky Way's 8.5×1011 solar masses). The Milky Way
Milky Way
and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide in ~4.5 billion years, merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy[14] or a large disc galaxy.[15] With an apparent magnitude of 3.4, the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is among the brightest of the Messier objects[16] - making it visible to the naked eye on moonless nights,[17] even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution.

Contents

1 Observation history

1.1 Island universe

2 General

2.1 Formation and history 2.2 Distance estimate 2.3 Mass
Mass
and luminosity estimates

2.3.1 Mass 2.3.2 Luminosity

3 Structure 4 Nucleus 5 Discrete sources 6 Satellites 7 Collision with the Milky Way 8 Amateur observing 9 See also 10 Notes 11 References 12 External links

Observation history[edit]

Great Andromeda Nebula by Isaac Roberts, 1899.

Around the year 964, the Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi described the Andromeda Galaxy, in his Book of Fixed Stars
Book of Fixed Stars
as a "nebulous smear".[18] Star charts of that period labeled it as the Little Cloud.[19] In 1612, the German astronomer Simon Marius
Simon Marius
gave an early description of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
based on telescopic observations.[20] The German philosopher Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant
in 1755 in his work Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens conjectured that the blurry spot was an island universe. In 1764, Charles Messier cataloged Andromeda as object M31 and incorrectly credited Marius as the discoverer despite it being visible to the naked eye. In 1785, the astronomer William Herschel
William Herschel
noted a faint reddish hue in the core region of Andromeda. He believed Andromeda to be the nearest of all the "great nebulae", and based on the color and magnitude of the nebula, he incorrectly guessed that it is no more than 2,000 times the distance of Sirius.[21] In 1850, William Parsons, 3rd Earl of Rosse, saw and made the first drawing of Andromeda's spiral structure. In 1864, William Huggins
William Huggins
noted that the spectrum of Andromeda differs from a gaseous nebula.[22] The spectra of Andromeda displays a continuum of frequencies, superimposed with dark absorption lines that help identify the chemical composition of an object. Andromeda's spectrum is very similar to the spectra of individual stars, and from this, it was deduced that Andromeda has a stellar nature. In 1885, a supernova (known as S Andromedae) was seen in Andromeda, the first and so far only one observed in that galaxy. At the time Andromeda was considered to be a nearby object, so the cause was thought to be a much less luminous and unrelated event called a nova, and was named accordingly; " Nova
Nova
1885".[23] In 1887, Isaac Roberts
Isaac Roberts
took the first photographs of Andromeda, which was still commonly thought to be a nebula within our galaxy. Roberts mistook Andromeda and similar spiral nebulae as solar systems being formed.[citation needed] In 1912, Vesto Slipher
Vesto Slipher
used spectroscopy to measure the radial velocity of Andromeda with respect to our solar system—the largest velocity yet measured, at 300 kilometres per second (190 mi/s).[24] Island universe[edit]

Location of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
(M31) in the Andromeda constellation.

In 1917, Heber Curtis observed a nova within Andromeda. Searching the photographic record, 11 more novae were discovered. Curtis noticed that these novae were, on average, 10 magnitudes fainter than those that occurred elsewhere in the sky. As a result, he was able to come up with a distance estimate of 500,000 light-years (3.2×1010 AU). He became a proponent of the so-called "island universes" hypothesis, which held that spiral nebulae were actually independent galaxies.[25]

Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
above the Very Large Telescope.[26] You can also see the Triangulum Galaxy
Galaxy
on the top.

In 1920, the Great Debate between Harlow Shapley
Harlow Shapley
and Curtis took place, concerning the nature of the Milky Way, spiral nebulae, and the dimensions of the universe. To support his claim of the Great Andromeda Nebula being, in fact, an external galaxy, Curtis also noted the appearance of dark lanes within Andromeda which resembled the dust clouds in our own galaxy, as well as historical observations of Andromeda Galaxy's significant Doppler shift. In 1922 Ernst Öpik presented a method to estimate the distance of Andromeda using the measured velocities of its stars. His result placed the Andromeda Nebula far outside our galaxy at a distance of about 450,000 parsecs (1,500,000 ly).[27] Edwin Hubble
Edwin Hubble
settled the debate in 1925 when he identified extragalactic Cepheid
Cepheid
variable stars for the first time on astronomical photos of Andromeda. These were made using the 2.5-metre (100-in) Hooker telescope, and they enabled the distance of Great Andromeda Nebula to be determined. His measurement demonstrated conclusively that this feature is not a cluster of stars and gas within our own Galaxy, but an entirely separate galaxy located a significant distance from the Milky Way.[28] In 1943, Walter Baade
Walter Baade
was the first person to resolve stars in the central region of the Andromeda Galaxy. Baade identified two distinct populations of stars based on their metallicity, naming the young, high-velocity stars in the disk Type I and the older, red stars in the bulge Type II. This nomenclature was subsequently adopted for stars within the Milky Way, and elsewhere. (The existence of two distinct populations had been noted earlier by Jan Oort.)[29] Baade also discovered that there were two types of Cepheid
Cepheid
variables, which resulted in a doubling of the distance estimate to Andromeda, as well as the remainder of the Universe.[30] In 1950, radio emission from the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
was detected by Hanbury Brown and Cyril Hazard at Jodrell Bank Observatory.[31][32] The first radio maps of the galaxy were made in the 1950s by John Baldwin and collaborators at the Cambridge Radio Astronomy Group.[33] The core of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is called 2C 56 in the 2C radio astronomy catalog. In 2009, the first planet may have been discovered in the Andromeda Galaxy. This was detected using a technique called microlensing, which is caused by the deflection of light by a massive object.[34] General[edit] The estimated distance of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
from our own was doubled in 1953 when it was discovered that there is another, dimmer type of Cepheid. In the 1990s, measurements of both standard red giants as well as red clump stars from the Hipparcos
Hipparcos
satellite measurements were used to calibrate the Cepheid
Cepheid
distances.[35][36] Formation and history[edit]

The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
as seen by NASA's Wide-field Infrared
Infrared
Survey Explorer.

Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
was formed roughly 10 billion years ago from the collision and subsequent merger of smaller protogalaxies.[37] This violent collision formed most of the galaxy's (metal-rich) galactic halo and extended disk. During this epoch, star formation would have been very high, to the point of becoming a luminous infrared galaxy for roughly 100 million years. Andromeda and the Triangulum Galaxy
Galaxy
had a very close passage 2–4 billion years ago. This event produced high levels of star formation across the Andromeda Galaxy's disk – even some globular clusters – and disturbed M33's outer disk. Over the past 2 billion years, star formation throughout Andromeda's disk is thought to have decreased to the point of near-inactivity. There have been interactions with satellite galaxies like M32, M110, or others that have already been absorbed by Andromeda Galaxy. These interactions have formed structures like Andromeda's Giant Stellar Stream. A galactic merger roughly 100 million years ago is believed to be responsible for a counter-rotating disk of gas found in the center of Andromeda as well as the presence there of a relatively young (100 million years old) stellar population.[citation needed] Distance estimate[edit] At least four distinct techniques have been used to estimate distances from Earth
Earth
to the Andromeda Galaxy. In 2003, using the infrared surface brightness fluctuations (I-SBF) and adjusting for the new period-luminosity value and a metallicity correction of −0.2 mag dex−1 in (O/H), an estimate of 2.57 ± 0.06 million light-years (1.625×1011 ± 3.8×109 AU) was derived. In 2004, using the Cepheid
Cepheid
variable method, the distance was estimated to be 2.51 ± 0.13 million light-years (770 ± 40 kpc).[2][3] In 2005, an eclipsing binary star was discovered in the Andromeda Galaxy. The binary[c] is two hot blue stars of types O and B. By studying the eclipses of the stars, astronomers were able to measure their sizes. Knowing the sizes and temperatures of the stars, they were able to measure their absolute magnitude. When the visual and absolute magnitudes are known, the distance to the star can be measured. The stars lie at a distance of 2.52×10^6 ± 0.14×10^6 ly (1.594×1011 ± 8.9×109 AU) and the whole Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
at about 2.5×10^6 ly (1.6×1011 AU).[4] This new value is in excellent agreement with the previous, independent Cepheid-based distance value. In 2005, using the TRGB method, the distance was estimated to be 2.56×10^6 ± 0.08×10^6 ly (1.619×1011 ± 5.1×109 AU).[5] Averaged together, these distance estimates give a value of 2.54×10^6 ± 0.11×10^6 ly (1.606×1011 ± 7.0×109 AU).[a] And, from this, the diameter of Andromeda at the widest point is estimated to be 220 ± 3 kly (67,450 ± 920 pc).[original research?] Applying trigonometry (angular diameter), this is equivalent to an apparent 4.96° angle in the sky. Mass
Mass
and luminosity estimates[edit] Mass[edit]

The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
pictured in ultraviolet light by GALEX.

Illustration showing both the size of each galaxy and the distance between the two galaxies, to scale.

Giant halo around Andromeda Galaxy.[38]

Mass
Mass
estimates for the Andromeda Galaxy's halo (including dark matter) give a value of approximately 1.5×1012 M☉[10] (or 1.5 trillion solar masses) compared to 8×1011 M☉ for the Milky Way. This contradicts earlier measurements, that seem to indicate that Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
and the Milky Way
Milky Way
are almost equal in mass. Even so, Andromeda Galaxy's spheroid actually has a higher stellar density than that of the Milky Way[39] and its galactic stellar disk is about twice the size of that of the Milky Way.[11] The total stellar mass of Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is estimated to be between 1.1×1011 M☉.,[40][41] (i.e., around twice as massive as that of the Milky Way) and 1.5×1011 M☉, with around 30% of that mass in the central bulge, 56% in the disk, and the remaining 14% in the halo.[42] In addition to it, Andromeda Galaxy's interstellar medium contains at least around 7.2×109 M☉[43] in the form of neutral hydrogen, at least 3.4×108 M☉ as molecular hydrogen (within its innermost 10 kiloparsecs), and 5.4×107 M☉ of dust.[44] Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is surrounded by a large and massive halo of hot gas that is estimated to contain half the mass of the stars in the galaxy. The nearly invisible halo stretches about a million light-years from its host galaxy, halfway to our Milky Way
Milky Way
galaxy. Simulations of galaxies indicate the halo formed at the same time as the Andromeda Galaxy. The halo is enriched in elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, formed from supernovae and its properties are those expected for a galaxy that lies in the "green valley" of the Galaxy color–magnitude diagram (see below). Supernovae
Supernovae
erupt in Andromeda Galaxy's star-filled disk and eject these heavier elements into space. Over Andromeda Galaxy's lifetime, nearly half of the heavy elements made by its stars have been ejected far beyond the galaxy's 200,000-light-year-diameter stellar disk.[45][46][47][48][49] Luminosity[edit] Compared to the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
appears to have predominantly older stars with ages >7×109 years.[42][clarification needed] The estimated luminosity of Andromeda Galaxy, ~2.6×1010 L☉, is about 25% higher than that of our own galaxy.[50] However, the galaxy has a high inclination as seen from Earth
Earth
and its interstellar dust absorbs an unknown amount of light, so it is difficult to estimate its actual brightness and other authors have given other values for the luminosity of the Andromeda Galaxy (some authors even propose it is the second-brightest galaxy within a radius of 10 mega-parsecs of the Milky Way, after the Sombrero Galaxy,[51] with an absolute magnitude of around -22.21[d] or close[52]). An estimation done with the help of Spitzer Space Telescope
Spitzer Space Telescope
published in 2010 suggests an absolute magnitude (in the blue) of −20.89 (that with a color index of +0.63 translates to an absolute visual magnitude of −21.52,[b] compared to −20.9 for the Milky Way), and a total luminosity in that wavelength of 3.64×1010 L☉.[53] The rate of star formation in the Milky Way
Milky Way
is much higher, with Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
producing only about one solar mass per year compared to 3–5 solar masses for the Milky Way. The rate of supernovae in the Milky Way
Milky Way
is also double that of Andromeda Galaxy.[54][not in citation given] This suggests that the latter once experienced a great star formation phase, but is now in a relative state of quiescence, whereas the Milky Way
Milky Way
is experiencing more active star formation.[50] Should this continue, the luminosity of the Milky Way
Milky Way
may eventually overtake that of Andromeda Galaxy. According to recent studies, the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
lies in what in the galaxy color–magnitude diagram is known as the "green valley", a region populated by galaxies like the Milky Way
Milky Way
in transition from the "blue cloud" (galaxies actively forming new stars) to the "red sequence" (galaxies that lack star formation). Star formation
Star formation
activity in green valley galaxies is slowing as they run out of star-forming gas in the interstellar medium. In simulated galaxies with similar properties to Andromeda Galaxy, star formation is expected to extinguish within about five billion years from the now, even accounting for the expected, short-term increase in the rate of star formation due to the collision between Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
and the Milky Way.[55] Structure[edit]

The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
seen in infrared by the Spitzer Space Telescope, one of NASA's four Great Space Observatories.

Image of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
taken by Spitzer in infrared, 24 micrometres (Credit:NASA/JPL–Caltech/K. Gordon, University of Arizona).

Play media

A Swift Tour of Andromeda Galaxy.

A Galaxy
Galaxy
Evolution Explorer image of the Andromeda Galaxy. The bands of blue-white making up the galaxy's striking rings are neighborhoods that harbor hot, young, massive stars. Dark blue-grey lanes of cooler dust show up starkly against these bright rings, tracing the regions where star formation is currently taking place in dense cloudy cocoons. When observed in visible light, Andromeda Galaxy’s rings look more like spiral arms. The ultraviolet view shows that these arms more closely resemble the ring-like structure previously observed in infrared wavelengths with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Astronomers using the latter interpreted these rings as evidence that the galaxy was involved in a direct collision with its neighbor, M32, more than 200 million years ago.

Based on its appearance in visible light, the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is classified as an SA(s)b galaxy in the de Vaucouleurs–Sandage extended classification system of spiral galaxies.[1] However, data from the 2MASS
2MASS
survey showed that Andromeda is actually a barred spiral galaxy, like the Milky Way, with Andromeda's bar oriented along its long axis.[56] In 2005, astronomers used the Keck telescopes
Keck telescopes
to show that the tenuous sprinkle of stars extending outward from the galaxy is actually part of the main disk itself.[11] This means that the spiral disk of stars in the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is three times larger in diameter than previously estimated. This constitutes evidence that there is a vast, extended stellar disk that makes the galaxy more than 220,000 light-years (67,000 pc) in diameter. Previously, estimates of the Andromeda Galaxy's size ranged from 70,000 to 120,000 light-years (21,000 to 37,000 pc) across. The galaxy is inclined an estimated 77° relative to the Earth
Earth
(where an angle of 90° would be viewed directly from the side). Analysis of the cross-sectional shape of the galaxy appears to demonstrate a pronounced, S-shaped warp, rather than just a flat disk.[57] A possible cause of such a warp could be gravitational interaction with the satellite galaxies near the Andromeda Galaxy. The Galaxy
Galaxy
M33 could be responsible for some warp in Andromeda's arms, though more precise distances and radial velocities are required. Spectroscopic studies have provided detailed measurements of the rotational velocity of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
as a function of radial distance from the core. The rotational velocity has a maximum value of 225 kilometres per second (140 mi/s) at 1,300 light-years (82,000,000 AU) from the core, and it has its minimum possibly as low as 50 kilometres per second (31 mi/s) at 7,000 light-years (440,000,000 AU) from the core. Further out, rotational velocity rises out to a radius of 33,000 light-years (2.1×109 AU), where it reaches a peak of 250 kilometres per second (160 mi/s). The velocities slowly decline beyond that distance, dropping to around 200 kilometres per second (120 mi/s) at 80,000 light-years (5.1×109 AU). These velocity measurements imply a concentrated mass of about 6×109 M☉ in the nucleus. The total mass of the galaxy increases linearly out to 45,000 light-years (2.8×109 AU), then more slowly beyond that radius.[58] The spiral arms of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
are outlined by a series of H II regions, first studied in great detail by Walter Baade
Walter Baade
and described by him as resembling "beads on a string". His studies show two spiral arms that appear to be tightly wound, although they are more widely spaced than in our galaxy.[59] His descriptions of the spiral structure, as each arm crosses the major axis of the Andromeda Galaxy, are as follows[60]§pp1062[61]§pp92:

Baade's spiral arms of M31

Arms (N=cross M31's major axis at north, S=cross M31's major axis at south) Distance from center (arcminutes) (N*/S*) Distance from center (kpc) (N*/S*) Notes

N1/S1 3.4/1.7 0.7/0.4 Dust arms with no OB associations of HII regions.

N2/S2 8.0/10.0 1.7/2.1 Dust arms with some OB associations.

N3/S3 25/30 5.3/6.3 As per N2/S2, but with some HII regions too.

N4/S4 50/47 11/9.9 Large numbers of OB associations, HII regions, and little dust.

N5/S5 70/66 15/14 As per N4/S4 but much fainter.

N6/S6 91/95 19/20 Loose OB associations. No dust visible.

N7/S7 110/116 23/24 As per N6/S6 but fainter and inconspicuous.

Since the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is seen close to edge-on, it is difficult to study its spiral structure. Rectified images of the galaxy seem to show a fairly normal spiral galaxy, exhibiting two continuous trailing arms that are separated from each other by a minimum of about 13,000 light-years (820,000,000 AU) and that can be followed outward from a distance of roughly 1,600 light-years (100,000,000 AU) from the core. Alternative spiral structures have been proposed such as a single spiral arm[62] or a flocculent[63] pattern of long, filamentary, and thick spiral arms.[1][64] The most likely cause of the distortions of the spiral pattern is thought to be interaction with galaxy satellites M32 and M110.[65] This can be seen by the displacement of the neutral hydrogen clouds from the stars.[66] In 1998, images from the European Space Agency's Infrared
Infrared
Space Observatory demonstrated that the overall form of the Andromeda Galaxy may be transitioning into a ring galaxy. The gas and dust within the galaxy is generally formed into several overlapping rings, with a particularly prominent ring formed at a radius of 32,000 light-years (2.0×109 AU) (10 kiloparsecs) from the core,[67] nicknamed by some astronomers the ring of fire.[68] This ring is hidden from visible light images of the galaxy because it is composed primarily of cold dust, and most of the star formation that is taking place in the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is concentrated there.[69] Later studies with the help of the Spitzer Space Telescope
Spitzer Space Telescope
showed how Andromeda Galaxy's spiral structure in the infrared appears to be composed of two spiral arms that emerge from a central bar and continue beyond the large ring mentioned above. Those arms, however, are not continuous and have a segmented structure.[65] Close examination of the inner region of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
with the same telescope also showed a smaller dust ring that is believed to have been caused by the interaction with M32 more than 200  million years ago. Simulations show that the smaller galaxy passed through the disk of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
along the latter's polar axis. This collision stripped more than half the mass from the smaller M32 and created the ring structures in Andromeda.[70] It is the co-existence of the long-known large ring-like feature in the gas of Messier 31, together with this newly discovered inner ring-like structure, offset from the barycenter, that suggested a nearly head-on collision with the satellite M32, a milder version of the Cartwheel encounter.[71] Studies of the extended halo of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
show that it is roughly comparable to that of the Milky Way, with stars in the halo being generally "metal-poor", and increasingly so with greater distance.[39] This evidence indicates that the two galaxies have followed similar evolutionary paths. They are likely to have accreted and assimilated about 100–200 low-mass galaxies during the past 12  billion years.[72] The stars in the extended halos of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
and the Milky Way
Milky Way
may extend nearly one-third the distance separating the two galaxies. Nucleus[edit]

Hubble image of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
core showing possible double structure. NASA/ESA photo.

M31 is known to harbor a dense and compact star cluster at its very center. In a large telescope it creates a visual impression of a star embedded in the more diffuse surrounding bulge. In 1991, the Hubble Space Telescope
Telescope
was used to image Andromeda Galaxy's inner nucleus. The nucleus consists of two concentrations separated by 1.5 parsecs (4.9 ly). The brighter concentration, designated as P1, is offset from the center of the galaxy. The dimmer concentration, P2, falls at the true center of the galaxy and contains a black hole measured at 3–5 × 107 M☉ in 1993,[73] and at 1.1–2.3 × 108 M☉ in 2005.[74] The velocity dispersion of material around it is measured to be ≈ 160 km/s.[75]

Chandra X-ray telescope image of the center of Andromeda Galaxy. A number of X-ray sources, likely X-ray binary stars, within the galaxy's central region appear as yellowish dots. The blue source at the center is at the position of the supermassive black hole.

It has been proposed that the observed double nucleus could be explained if P1 is the projection of a disk of stars in an eccentric orbit around the central black hole.[76] The eccentricity is such that stars linger at the orbital apocenter, creating a concentration of stars. P2 also contains a compact disk of hot, spectral class A stars. The A stars are not evident in redder filters, but in blue and ultraviolet light they dominate the nucleus, causing P2 to appear more prominent than P1.[77] While at the initial time of its discovery it was hypothesized that the brighter portion of the double nucleus is the remnant of a small galaxy "cannibalized" by Andromeda Galaxy,[78] this is no longer considered a viable explanation, largely because such a nucleus would have an exceedingly short lifetime due to tidal disruption by the central black hole. While this could be partially resolved if P1 had its own black hole to stabilize it, the distribution of stars in P1 does not suggest that there is a black hole at its center.[76] Discrete sources[edit]

The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
in high-energy X-ray and ultraviolet light (released 5 January 2016).

Artist's concept of the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
core showing a view across a disk of young, blue stars encircling a supermassive black hole. NASA/ESA photo.

Apparently, by late 1968, no X-rays had been detected from the Andromeda Galaxy.[79] A balloon flight on October 20, 1970, set an upper limit for detectable hard X-rays from the Andromeda Galaxy.[80] Multiple X-ray sources have since been detected in the Andromeda Galaxy, using observations from the European Space Agency's (ESA) XMM-Newton
XMM-Newton
orbiting observatory. Robin Barnard et al. hypothesized that these are candidate black holes or neutron stars, which are heating the incoming gas to millions of kelvins and emitting X-rays. The spectrum of the neutron stars is the same as the hypothesized black holes but can be distinguished by their masses.[81] There are approximately 460 globular clusters associated with the Andromeda Galaxy.[82] The most massive of these clusters, identified as Mayall II, nicknamed Globular One, has a greater luminosity than any other known globular cluster in the Local Group
Local Group
of galaxies.[83] It contains several million stars, and is about twice as luminous as Omega Centauri, the brightest known globular cluster in the Milky Way. Globular One (or G1) has several stellar populations and a structure too massive for an ordinary globular. As a result, some consider G1 to be the remnant core of a dwarf galaxy that was consumed by Andromeda in the distant past.[84] The globular with the greatest apparent brightness is G76 which is located in the south-west arm's eastern half.[19] Another massive globular cluster, named 037-B327 and discovered in 2006 as is heavily reddened by the Andromeda Galaxy's interstellar dust, was thought to be more massive than G1 and the largest cluster of the Local Group;[85] however, other studies have shown it is actually similar in properties to G1.[86]

Star clusters in the Andromeda Galaxy.[87]

Unlike the globular clusters of the Milky Way, which show a relatively low age dispersion, Andromeda Galaxy's globular clusters have a much larger range of ages: from systems as old as the galaxy itself to much younger systems, with ages between a few hundred million years to five billion years[88] In 2005, astronomers discovered a completely new type of star cluster in the Andromeda Galaxy. The new-found clusters contain hundreds of thousands of stars, a similar number of stars that can be found in globular clusters. What distinguishes them from the globular clusters is that they are much larger—several hundred light-years across—and hundreds of times less dense. The distances between the stars are, therefore, much greater within the newly discovered extended clusters.[89] In 2012, a microquasar, a radio burst emanating from a smaller black hole, was detected in the Andromeda Galaxy. The progenitor black hole is located near the galactic center and has about 10

M

displaystyle begin smallmatrix M_ odot end smallmatrix

. Discovered through a data collected by the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton
XMM-Newton
probe, and subsequently observed by NASA's Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission and Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the Very Large Array, and the Very Long Baseline Array, the microquasar was the first observed within the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
and the first outside of the Milky Way Galaxy.[90] Satellites[edit] Main article: Andromeda's satellite galaxies

Messier 32
Messier 32
is to the left of the center, Messier 110
Messier 110
is to the bottom-right of the center.

Like the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
has satellite galaxies, consisting of 14 known dwarf galaxies. The best known and most readily observed satellite galaxies are M32 and M110. Based on current evidence, it appears that M32 underwent a close encounter with the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
in the past. M32 may once have been a larger galaxy that had its stellar disk removed by M31, and underwent a sharp increase of star formation in the core region, which lasted until the relatively recent past.[91] M110 also appears to be interacting with the Andromeda Galaxy, and astronomers have found in the halo of the latter a stream of metal-rich stars that appear to have been stripped from these satellite galaxies.[92] M110 does contain a dusty lane, which may indicate recent or ongoing star formation.[93] In 2006, it was discovered that nine of the satellite galaxies lie in a plane that intersects the core of the Andromeda Galaxy; they are not randomly arranged as would be expected from independent interactions. This may indicate a common tidal origin for the satellites.[94] Collision with the Milky Way[edit] Main article: Andromeda– Milky Way
Milky Way
collision The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is approaching the Milky Way
Milky Way
at about 110 kilometres per second (68 mi/s).[95] It has been measured approaching relative to our Sun at around 300 kilometres per second (190 mi/s)[1] as the Sun orbits around the center of our galaxy at a speed of approximately 225 kilometres per second (140 mi/s). This makes the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
one of about 100 observable blueshifted galaxies.[96] Andromeda Galaxy's tangential or sideways velocity with respect to the Milky Way
Milky Way
is relatively much smaller than the approaching velocity and therefore it is expected to collide directly with the Milky Way
Milky Way
in about 4 billion years. A likely outcome of the collision is that the galaxies will merge to form a giant elliptical galaxy[97] or perhaps even a large disc galaxy.[15] Such events are frequent among the galaxies in galaxy groups. The fate of the Earth
Earth
and the Solar System
Solar System
in the event of a collision is currently unknown. Before the galaxies merge, there is a small chance that the Solar System
Solar System
could be ejected from the Milky Way
Milky Way
or join the Andromeda Galaxy.[98] Amateur observing[edit] The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
is bright enough to be seen with the naked eye, even with some light pollution.[99] Andromeda is best seen during autumn nights in the Northern Hemisphere, when from mid-latitudes the galaxy reaches zenith (its highest point at midnight) so can be seen almost all night. From the Southern Hemisphere, it is most visible at the same months, that is in spring, and away from our equator does not reach a high altitude over the northern horizon, making it difficult to observe. Binoculars
Binoculars
can reveal some larger structures and its two brightest satellite galaxies, M32 and M110.[100] An amateur telescope can reveal Andromeda's disk, some of its brightest globular clusters, dark dust lanes and the large star cloud NGC 206.[101][102] See also[edit]

Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
in fiction Andromeda Nebula in fiction List of Messier objects List of galaxies New General Catalogue NGC 206 – the brightest star cloud in the Andromeda Galaxy

Notes[edit]

^ a b average(787 ± 18, 770 ± 40, 772 ± 44, 783 ± 25) = ((787 + 770 + 772 + 783) / 4) ± (182 + 402 + 442 + 252)0.5 / 2 = 778 ± 33. ^ a b Blue absolute magnitude of −20.89 – Color index of 0.63 = −21.52 ^ J00443799+4129236 is at celestial coordinates R.A. 00h 44m 37.99s, Dec. +41° 29′ 23.6″. ^ Blue absolute magnitude of −21.58 (see reference) – Color index of 0.63 = absolute visual magnitude of −22.21

References[edit]

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The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
on WikiSky: DSS2, SDSS, GALEX, IRAS, Hydrogen α, X-Ray, Astrophoto, Sky Map, Articles and images StarDate: M31 Fact Sheet Messier 31, SEDS
SEDS
Messier pages Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Giant Globular Cluster in M31 1998 October 17. M31: The Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
2004 July 18. Andromeda Island Universe
Universe
2005 December 22. Andromeda Island Universe
Universe
2010 January 9. WISE Infrared
Infrared
Andromeda 2010 February 19

M31 and its central Nuclear Spiral Amateur photography – M31 Globular Clusters in M31 at The Curdridge Observatory First direct distance to Andromeda − Astronomy magazine article Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
at SolStation.com Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
at The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, & Spaceflight M31, the Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
at NightSkyInfo.com Than, Ker (January 23, 2006). "Strange Setup: Andromeda's Satellite Galaxies All Lined Up". Space.com.  Hubble Finds Mysterious Disk of Blue Stars Around Black Hole Hubble observations (September 20, 2005) put the mass of the Andromeda core black hole at 140 million solar masses M31 (Apparent) Novae Page (IAU) Multi-wavelength composite Andromeda Project (crowd-source) Gray, Meghan; Szymanek, Nik; Merrifield, Michael. "M31 – Andromeda Galaxy". Deep Sky Videos. Brady Haran.  Andromeda Galaxy
Galaxy
(M31) at Constellation
Constellation
Guide APOD – 2013 August 1 (M31's angular size compared with full Moon) Hubble's High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy NationalGeographic.com video of the Hubble High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy

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Messier objects

List

M1 M2 M3 M4 M5 M6 M7 M8 M9 M10 M11 M12 M13 M14 M15 M16 M17 M18 M19 M20 M21 M22 M23 M24 M25 M26 M27 M28 M29 M30 M31 M32 M33 M34 M35 M36 M37 M38 M39 M40 M41 M42 M43 M44 M45 M46 M47 M48 M49 M50 M51 M52 M53 M54 M55 M56 M57 M58 M59 M60 M61 M62 M63 M64 M65 M66 M67 M68 M69 M70 M71 M72 M73 M74 M75 M76 M77 M78 M79 M80 M81 M82 M83 M84 M85 M86 M87 M88 M89 M90 M91 M92 M93 M94 M95 M96 M97 M98 M99 M100 M101 M102 M103 M104 M105 M106 M107 M108 M109 M110

See also

Caldwell catalogue Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars Herschel 400 Catalogue Index Catalogue New General Catalogue Revised New General Catalogue

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New General Catalogue
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Astronomical catalog List of NGC objects

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Andromeda Galaxy

Location

Andromeda Galaxy→ Andromeda subgroup → Local Group → Virgo Supercluster → Laniakea Supercluster → Observable universe → Universe Each  → may be read as "within" or "part of".

Satellite galaxies

M32 M110 NGC 185 NGC 147 Andromeda I Andromeda II Andromeda III Andromeda IV* Andromeda V Andromeda VI Andromeda VII Andromeda VIII Andromeda IX Andromeda X Andromeda XI Andromeda XII Andromeda XIII Andromeda XIV Andromeda XV Andromeda XVI Andromeda XVII Andromeda XVIII Andromeda XIX Andromeda XX Andromeda XXI Andromeda XXII Andromeda XXIII Andromeda XXIV Andromeda XXV Andromeda XXVI Andromeda XXVII Andromeda XXVIII Andromeda XXIX Triangulum Galaxy*

*It is uncertain whether it is a companion galaxy of the Andromeda Galaxy

Catalogued stars

AE Andromedae M31-RV

Other

Andromeda– Milky Way
Milky Way
collision S Andromedae Mayall II NGC 206

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 239579487 LCCN: sh85004924 GND: 4287149-9 NDL: 01189497

Astronomy portal Space portal

Coordinates: 00h 42m 44.3s, +41°

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