M31, the Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy |  M31 is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way, located a mere 2.2 million light-years distant. The Local Group Galaxies Survey team used the Mosaic camera on the Kitt Peak Mayall 4-meter telescope to investigate M31’s substantial population of young, massive stars over a very large field of view. Each of the squares in the image, featured on the cover of the December, 2005 NOAO Newsletter, is half a degree on a side, about the size of the full Moon.

Credit: Phil Massey (Lowell Observatory), Knut Olsen and Mark Hanna (NOAO/AURA/NSF), and the Local Group Galaxies Survey Team