This wide view shows M31, M32 and M110. M32 and M110 are both satellite galaxies, M110 the larger of the two can be seen just above Andromeda and M32 sits along the lower edge of Andromeda.
The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth. Also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, it is often referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula in older texts. The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. It gets its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda, which was named after the mythological princess Andromeda. The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 44 other smaller galaxies.
The Andromeda Galaxy is the most massive galaxy in the Local Group as well. Despite earlier findings that suggested that the Milky Way contains more dark matter and could be the most massive in the grouping, the 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that Andromeda contains one trillion stars: at least twice the number of stars in the Milky Way, which is estimated to be 200–400 billion.
The Milky Way and Andromeda are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years, eventually merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy or perhaps a large disk galaxy.
At 3.4, the apparent magnitude of the Andromeda Galaxy is one of the brightest of any Messier objects, making it visible to the naked eye on moonless nights even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution. Although it appears more than six times as wide as the full Moon when photographed through a larger telescope (such as my own) only the brighter central region is visible to the naked eye or when viewed using binoculars or a small telescope.
For a close view of the galaxy see here: captain-marmote.deviantart.com…
I decided to treat you all with an uncropped, nearly full resolution image here. Please note, you are not to use, copy or modify this work in any way unless explicitly given permission by myself to do so.