The largest ever Hubble photo shows Andromeda’s glory

January 20, 2015 8:43 PM

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The largest ever Hubble photo shows Andromeda’s glory

Taking high-resolution photos of your neighbors is usually frowned upon, but not when the neighbor in question is the Andromeda galaxy and the camera is the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA has shared the sharpest large composite image ever taken of the sprawling mass of stars, space dust, and more, a vast 1.5 billion pixels that together cover a 61,000 light year long section of the galaxy. It's a shot that gets more and more involving even as you zoom in closer, but NASA is hoping that it will do more than just amaze people.

Instead, the hope is that they'll provoke more research based on the surfeit of high-resolution photographs that Hubble is producing. This particular Andromeda photo is actually the result of combining a total of more than sixteen hours of exposures and multiple resulting frames into one single shot...

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