Date:7 January 2015
Youtube user Daveachuk created this 4K video ‘flythrough’ of the Andromeda Galaxy, based on NASA’s latest image of the galaxy, which clocks in at 1.5 gigapixels and would take up 4.3 GB on your computer.
It is the biggest Hubble image ever released and shows over 100 million stars and thousands of star clusters embedded in a section of the galaxy’s pancake-shaped disc stretching across over 40 000 light-years (or 38 trillion kilometers).
The source image, captured with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the largest and sharpest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy — otherwise known as M31.
The used section is a cropped version of the full image and has 1.5 billion pixels. You would need more than 600 HD television screens to display the whole image.
Andromeda is our Milky Way galaxy’s closest spiral galactic neighbour, but isn’t truly that close at all. At a whopping 2 538 000 light years, the light from our solar system (the little that would hypothetically be able to get there) currently reaching Andromeda shows an Earth where sabre-toothed cats have just evolved.
NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton (University of Washington, USA), B. F. Williams (University of Washington, USA), L. C. Johnson (University of Washington, USA), the PHAT team, and R. Gendler.