Explore The Largest Hubble Space Image NASA Has Ever Captured
Mar 16, 2015
Andromeda gets its name because the part of the sky in which it's visible also contains the constellation Andromeda, which in turn was named after a Greek mythological princess. Sometimes referred to as Messier 31 or M31, it's also the largest and the heaviest galaxy in our Local Group.
The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy that's roughly 2.5 million light years away (in miles, that's roughly 15 with 18 zeroes after it) from the Milky Way, where we live. At that distance, it's one of our closest neighbors in our Local Group of about 50 other galaxies. That should give you some idea of the truly impressive scale of our universe, and the sheer magnitude of the expanses shown in this photograph.