Difference between revisions of "Andromeda galaxy"

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The '''Andromeda Galaxy''' is a [[spiral galaxy]] similar to the [[Milky Way]], and situated within the same [[galactic cluster]] called the [[Local Group]].
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[[Image:M31.jpg|right|thumb|Messier 31 (Andromeda)]]
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The '''Andromeda Galaxy''', ''M31,'' is a large [[spiral galaxy]], the nearest one to the [[Milky Way]], and situated within the same [[galactic cluster]] called the [[Local Group]]. It appears to be within the constellation [[Andromeda (constellation)|Andromeda]].
  
It is situated about 2.51 ± 0.13 million light years from the Milky Way, and it is on a collision course with us to hit sometime in about 3 to 5 billion years; it is likely to move, 'through' our galaxy, although, since both are mostly empty space, it is unlikely that planets or stars will collide.<ref>http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn7916</ref><ref>http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/~dubinski/tflops/tflops/</ref>
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It is situated about 2.51 ± 0.13 million light years from the Milky Way, and the galaxies are on course to collide sometime in about 3 to 5 billion years.<ref>http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn7916</ref><ref>http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/~dubinski/tflops/tflops/</ref>
  
The number 2.51 million light years has been reached through three separate methods for determining the distance to an astronomical object.
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The distance of 2.51 million light years has been reached through three separate methods for determining the distance to an astronomical object.
 
# [[Cepheid variable]]s
 
# [[Cepheid variable]]s
 
# Eclipsing [[binary star]]<ref>http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005ApJ...635L..37R</ref>
 
# Eclipsing [[binary star]]<ref>http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005ApJ...635L..37R</ref>
# Measurement of brightness of individual stars and comparing to the distance to the Magellanic Clouds
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# Measurement of brightness of individual stars and comparing to the distance to the [[Magellanic Clouds]]
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The name "M31" is an abbreviation for "Messier 31," the thirty-first object in Charles Messier's (1730-1817) pioneering catalog of nebulae.
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The Andromeda galaxy is sometimes described as being visible with the naked eye, but this is not possible in the light-polluted skies of a typical U. S. city or suburb. However, it is easily seen with binoculars even from a suburban back yard once you know where to look and know what to look for.  Through binoculars, the galaxy is a small, dim, fuzzy spot, unlike the dramatic, bright detailed photographic images shown in astronomy books.
  
 
==References==
 
==References==

Revision as of 18:53, 4 March 2009

Messier 31 (Andromeda)

The Andromeda Galaxy, M31, is a large spiral galaxy, the nearest one to the Milky Way, and situated within the same galactic cluster called the Local Group. It appears to be within the constellation Andromeda.

It is situated about 2.51 ± 0.13 million light years from the Milky Way, and the galaxies are on course to collide sometime in about 3 to 5 billion years.[1][2]

The distance of 2.51 million light years has been reached through three separate methods for determining the distance to an astronomical object.

  1. Cepheid variables
  2. Eclipsing binary star[3]
  3. Measurement of brightness of individual stars and comparing to the distance to the Magellanic Clouds

The name "M31" is an abbreviation for "Messier 31," the thirty-first object in Charles Messier's (1730-1817) pioneering catalog of nebulae.

The Andromeda galaxy is sometimes described as being visible with the naked eye, but this is not possible in the light-polluted skies of a typical U. S. city or suburb. However, it is easily seen with binoculars even from a suburban back yard once you know where to look and know what to look for. Through binoculars, the galaxy is a small, dim, fuzzy spot, unlike the dramatic, bright detailed photographic images shown in astronomy books.

References

  1. http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn7916
  2. http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/~dubinski/tflops/tflops/
  3. http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2005ApJ...635L..37R