Overwhelmed. That’s how I feel when I zoom into this new panorama of the Andromeda galaxy. Yesterday it was the mind-blowing new photo of the Pillars of Creation. Today is this view of Andromeda with over 100 million stars in it. Yes, that is not noise. Each of those dots is a star!
You really have to expand and zoom in (use your browser zooming or pinch your trackpad) to appreciate the stunning detail.
The largest NASA Hubble Space Telescope image ever assembled, this sweeping bird’s-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbour. Though the galaxy is over 2 million light-years away, The Hubble Space Telescope is powerful enough to resolve individual stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disk. It’s like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And there are lots of stars in this sweeping view — over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk.
I don’t know what they are doing with the Hubble, but holy crap it’s really delivering amazing images lately.