Our galactic neighbor: Andromeda

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken with a 71/347mm telescope.

Also known as M31, Andromeda galaxy is the nearest congregation to the earth with 2.5 million light years of distance. Like the Milky Way (the galaxy of which the solar system and sun are part), Andromeda has the same shape of a spiral and was discovered in the 20’ for the astronomer Edwin Hubble. He confirmed that Andromeda was a galaxy and not a cloud as many believe.

Andromeda galaxy is stunning with more stars than the Milky Way. You can see it easily with the naked eye from the earth and its name is was given thanks to its position in the constellation of Andromeda. Far from being a spectacular sight of the sky, this galaxy is a massive, turbulent spot on the cosmos. In fact, is expected that Andromeda collides with the Milky Way in 4 billion years. The Andromeda galaxy is coming to us at 400000 kilometers per hour which is fast enough to start planning any scape, right?

Despite the future war between our planet and Andromeda, experts believe that our planet will survive the collision. Why? Because galaxies are made of empty space which is mostly harmless to us. Our universe is infinite and our beautiful earth is hanging there between numberless of things we ignore about.

When is the best time to look for the Andromeda galaxy? You can see at least a small part of the galaxy every night, all year long. But the M31 shines beautifully between September and October in the eastern sky. Winter evenings are also a great opportunity to appreciate our neighbor.

  • Here you have some beautiful quotes about the universe you should read if you’re a fanatic of our world as we do:
  • “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Albert Einstein.
  • “I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” Arthur C. Clarke.
  • “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” Rachel Carson.
  • “Believe something and the Universe is on its way to being changed. Because you’ve changed, by believing. Once you’ve changed, other things start to follow. Isn’t that the way it works?” Diane Duane.
  • “The universe is big, its vast and complicated, and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles. And that’s the theory. Nine hundred years, never seen one yet, but this would do me.” Steven Moffat.
  • “All you really need to know for the moment is that the universe is a lot more complicated than you might think, even if you start from a position of thinking it’s pretty damn complicated in the first place.” Douglas Adams.

Did you know all this about our neighbor galaxy?