NASA and ESA have released the sharpest ever image of the Andromeda Galaxy. Though we may not ever reach it in our current lifetimes, this extremely high-res image may just tide us over.
A new image of the Andromeda Galaxy, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, clocks in at an absolutely gigantic 1.5 billion pixels, with NASA/European Space Agency (ESA) stating that more than 600 HD TVs would be required to display the whole image. It is the biggest image ever released by Hubble.
While there is a very good chance humanity will never experience the Andromeda Galaxy in person, being able to see over 100 million stars in a galaxy 2.5 million light years away from us is truly incredible. The true scale of the Andromeda Galaxy is almost impossible to comprehend.
The image is so large that NASA/ESA have implemented a zoom tool for it to be truly appreciated. Never before has the enhance button of CSI: Miami fame been so relevant in real-life computers.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low earth orbit in 1990, with it observing the Andromeda Galaxy for the past 30 years. Named after the astronomer who discovered the Andromeda Galaxy, Edwin Hubble, the space telescope is expected to remain in service until 2028-2040 when it will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
Zooming out of the sharpest ever view of the Andromeda Galaxy, showing more than 100 million stars!
(Credit: NASA, ESA) pic.twitter.com/5y6OogURWX
— Universal-Sci (@universal_sci) October 28, 2020
As expected, the high-res images from the telescope are rather large in size. This particular one weighs in at 4.3GB, the adage “a picture tells a thousand words” coming to mind.
Besides the Andromeda Galaxy, the Hubble Space Telescope captures various other space phenomena including various planets of the solar system and supernovas. While most, if not all, of us will not be able to experience space in our lifetimes, being able to use it as a desktop background should tide us over until our next reincarnations.
Check out the image in full here.