Skip to main content

Cool Andromeda

Andromeda M31 ESA
In this new view of the Andromeda galaxy from ESA’s Herschel space observatory, cool lanes of forming stars are revealed in the finest detail yet. The image was released Jan. 28 2013. (Image credit: ESA/Herschel/PACS & SPIRE Consortium, O. Krause, HSC, H. Linz)

In this new view of the Andromeda galaxy from ESA’s Herschel space observatory, cool lanes of forming stars are revealed in the finest detail yet.

Andromeda, also known as M31, is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way at a distance of 2.5 million light-years, making it an ideal natural laboratory to study star formation and galaxy evolution.

Sensitive to the far-infrared light from cool dust mixed in with gas, Herschel seeks out clouds of gas where stars are born. The new image reveals some of the very coldest dust in the galaxy – only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero – coloured red in this image. The image was released Jan. 28 2013.

Live Science Staff
For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.