Approximately 2.5 million light-years away, we have our closest neighboring galaxy – the Andromeda. And interestingly, it’s visible to the naked eye on moonless nights. It’s expected that the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies will collide in about 4.5 billion years and form a new galaxy. Well, this definitely doesn’t mean that we should start panicking right away. Why not enjoy the beautiful view instead? Here’s an image that astro photographer Prabhu S Kutti took of our neighbor to get you started:
Kutti used a Canon 6D with the Esprit 80mm telescope to take this image. The image is a composite of 53 exposures that he took on two different dates from the UAE. He took 38 exposures, each of 30 seconds, on June 2, 2019 and 15 exposures, each of 5 minutes, on December 1, 2019. He then stacked the images to get the final image using Pixinsight software.
It’s pretty astonishing how much technology has progressed, allowing us to take such detailed images of the cosmos from the comfort of our homes. The image is also a reminder of how minuscule we are compared to the vast universe. For reference, the Andromeda galaxy pictured here has a diameter of about 220K light years. And the blotches of light that we can see around the Andromeda are other galaxies which further extend to hundreds to thousands of light years.
Our universe is truly vast, isn’t it?
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