Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lady In Red: Andromeda Galaxy Shines In Spitzer's Eyes

Date:
October 17, 2005
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured a stunning infrared view of Messier 31, the famous spiral galaxy also known as Andromeda. Andromeda is the most-studied galaxy outside our own Milky Way, yet Spitzer's sensitive infrared eyes have detected captivating new features, including bright, aging stars and a spiral arc in the center of the galaxy. The infrared image also reveals an off-centered ring of star formation and a hole in the galaxy's spiral disk of arms.

The infrared Spitzer image reveals new insight into Andromeda's well-known ring of star formation. This ring appears to be split into two pieces, forming the hole to the lower right. These asymmetrical features may have been caused by interactions with satellite galaxies around Andromeda. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arozona

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured a stunning infrared viewof Messier 31, the famous spiral galaxy also known as Andromeda.

Related Articles


Andromeda is the most-studied galaxy outside our own Milky Way, yetSpitzer's sensitive infrared eyes have detected captivating newfeatures, including bright, aging stars and a spiral arc in the centerof the galaxy. The infrared image also reveals an off-centered ring ofstar formation and a hole in the galaxy's spiral disk of arms. Theseasymmetrical features may have been caused by interactions with theseveral satellite galaxies that surround Andromeda.

"Occasionally small satellite galaxies run straight through biggergalaxies," said Dr. Karl Gordon of the Steward Observatory, Universityof Arizona, Tucson, lead investigator of the new observation. "Itappears a little galaxy punched a hole through Andromeda's disk, muchlike a pebble breaks the surface of a pond."

The new false-color Andromeda image is available at http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/spitzer/ .

Approximately 2.5 million light-years away, Andromeda is the closestspiral galaxy and is the only one visible to the naked eye. Unlike ourMilky Way galaxy, which we view from the inside, Andromeda is studiedfrom the outside. Astronomers believe that Andromeda and the Milky Waywill eventually merge together.

Spitzer detects dust heated by stars in the galaxy. Its multibandimaging photometer's 24-micron detector recorded approximately 11,000separate infrared snapshots over 18 hours to create the newcomprehensive mosaic. This instrument's resolution and sensitivity is avast improvement over previous infrared technologies, enablingscientists to trace the spiral structures within Andromeda to anunprecedented level of detail.

"In contrast to the smooth appearance of Andromeda at opticalwavelengths, the Spitzer image reveals a well-defined nuclear bulge anda system of spiral arms," said Dr. Susan Stolovy, a co-investigatorfrom the Spitzer Science Center at the California Institute ofTechnology, Pasadena.

The galaxy's central bulge glows in the light emitted by warm dustfrom old, giant stars. Just outside the bulge, a system of inner spiralarms can be seen, and outside this, a well-known prominent ring of starformation.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., manages theSpitzer mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at theCalifornia Institute of Technology. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is adivision of Caltech.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Lady In Red: Andromeda Galaxy Shines In Spitzer's Eyes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051017070302.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2005, October 17). Lady In Red: Andromeda Galaxy Shines In Spitzer's Eyes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051017070302.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Lady In Red: Andromeda Galaxy Shines In Spitzer's Eyes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051017070302.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Observers near Wallops Island recorded what they thought would be a routine rocket launch Tuesday night. What they recorded was a major rocket explosion shortly after lift off. (Oct 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Just hours after an American cargo run to the International Space Station ended in flames, a Russian supply ship has arrived at the station with a load of fresh supplies. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 29, 2014) A space education journalist is among those who witness and record the explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket seconds after its launch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) NASA and Orbital Sciences officials say they are investigating the explosion of an unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station. It blew up moments after liftoff Tuesday evening over the launch site in Virginia. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins