Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day 5-19-03
Posted on 05/18/2003 9:39:46 PM PDT by petuniasevan
Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2003 May 19
Explanation: What can you learn from looking into the depths of space? In an effort to find out true ages of stars in neighboring Andromeda galaxy's halo, astronomers stared into the galaxy giant with the new Advanced Camera for Surveys through the Hubble Space Telescope. The resulting exposure of over three days, shown above, is the longest exposure in visible light ever taken, although shorter than the multi-wavelength effort toward the Hubble Deep Field. The final image illuminated not only Andromeda (M31) but the distant universe. Andromeda's halo stars turned out to be have a wider range of ages than our Milky Way's halo stars, likely indicating more encounters with small neighboring galaxies. Visible on the above left is one of Andromeda's globular star clusters, while literally thousands of background galaxies are seen in the distance universe, far beyond M31.
|Right Ascension||00 : 42.7 (h:m)
|Declination||+41 : 16 (deg:m)
|Visual Brightness||3.4 (mag)
|Apparent Dimension||178x63 (arc min)
Note the magnitude. That's the brightness over the TOTAL area of the galaxy. It subtends a large area in the sky: its apparent width is several times that of the Moon! If you want to see it with the naked eye, you will need to know where to look. Clear, DARK skies are a MUST!
Here's a short-exposure camera photo (28 mm lens) of constellation Andromeda and its famous galaxy. M32 is the orangey smudge in upper center.
Thanks for sharing!!!
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