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Andromeda Island Universe

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Location:
    Terra
    [​IMG]


    Andromeda Island Universe
    Credit & Copyright: Tony Hallas

    Explanation: The most distant object easily visible to the unaided eye is M31, the great Andromeda Galaxy some two and a half million light-years away. But without a telescope, even this immense spiral galaxy - spanning over 200,000 light years - appears as a faint, nebulous cloud in the constellation Andromeda. In contrast, a bright yellow nucleus, dark winding dust lanes, gorgeous blue spiral arms and star clusters are recorded in this stunning telescopic digital mosaic. While even casual skygazers are now inspired by the knowledge that there are many distant galaxies like M31, astronomers seriously debated this fundamental concept less than 90 years ago. Were these "spiral nebulae" simply outlying components of our own Milky Way Galaxy or were they instead "island universes" -- distant systems of stars comparable to the Milky Way itself? This question was central to the famous Shapley-Curtis debate of 1920, which was later resolved by observations of M31 in favor of Andromeda, island universe.


    (Via NASA)
     
  2. Kevin

    Kevin Code Monkey Staff Abductee

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Wait... so somebody should be able to see the cloud with the naked eye?
     

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