When you look into the sky on a clear evening, you can see thousands of stars, but that basic view doesn’t ever scratch the surface of the vastness of space. To truly understand how big space is you need a bigger picture. How big? How about a gigapixel image? That’s one billion pixels.
This gigapixel image focuses on the Andromeda galaxy, roughly 2.5 million light-years from Earth, and full of stars. What initially looks like just a small sliver of bigger images reveals itself to be a landscape of staggering beauty. Just that little bit of space is full of stars, planets, and moons, hidden at first from our limited ability to see. These images were taken by the Hubble satellite and published by NASA. Tonight, go out and look at the stars, and then think about all the ones that are out there, beyond our line of sight.