Everything We Know About The Andromeda Galaxy

Our nearest neighbor Andromeda lies 2.5 million
years away, yet we can still see it with the naked eye here on Earth. Have you ever wondered
what’s going on in the galaxy next door? Hey everyone Julia here for DNews Andromeda gets its name from a beautiful princess
in Greek mythology, whose name means ruler of men. Humankind has seen this fuzzy patch
in the sky for centuries but no one was sure what it was. Until 1923 when Edwin Hubble
figured out that it wasn’t just a cloud of dust in our galaxy but a cluster of stars
much, much further away. At least ten times as far as the stars at the edges of our own
galaxy. This discovery rocked the world and changed our view of the universe forever.
We no longer thought that Milky Way was the entire universe. Now we knew there could be
hundreds, thousands, maybe millions more galaxies, just like our own. Since then we’ve learned a lot about our
neighbor. Scientists recently made a really cool discovery
using the Hubble Space Telescope. They discovered that Andromeda is surrounded by a giant ball
of gas! And I mean GIANT. It nearly reaches halfway to the Milky Way! That’s more than
a million light years. WHOA. It’s so big that if you could see it with the naked eye
its diameter would be 100 times the size of the moon. But the gas is dark, so sadly, we
can’t see it. Andromeda is a spiral galaxy. It’s also
known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, and is bigger than the Milky Way. It might be
as wide as 220,000 light-years in diameter according to a paper published in The Astrophysical
Journal, while our own galaxy is about half that size. It also contains a trillion stars
while our small system only has a quarter to half a billion. Nearly 70% of those stars lie mostly in a
thin disc which surrounds a bulge of older stars near the galaxy’s core. But a team
of international researchers from UCLA and Cambridge University also found a thick rotating
disc of older stars and their path extends above and below the thinner disc. Some researchers think these discs provide
clues to how the galaxy formed. Claire Dorman a grad study at UC Santa Cruz, found stars
in Andromeda’s discs that moved in two ways, ordered and disordered. The disordered movement
of some of the stars might suggest that Andromeda had a violent past, colliding with and cannibalizing
some smaller galaxies. And Andromeda has a lot of smaller satellite
galaxies swirling around its edges. So far scientists have counted more than 20. One
of those galaxies, Andromeda II has some strange patterns of start movements that suggests
that we’re actually witnessing the end of a small galactic collision. and oh yeah guys. Speaking of collisions.
we’re gonna bang I mean. Our galaxies. The milky way and andromeda are set on a collision
course. Andromeda is speeding towards us at 250,000 miles per hour! When they collide
it won’t be an explosion of smashing stars. The stars in each galaxy are too far apart
to be a real threat to each other. But they might get jostled up a bit. One simulation
suggests that our own solar system might wind up further away from the core of the Milky
Way. But rest easy, it won’t happen for another four billion years. While we’re on the subject of space, have
you wondered why everything in the universe is spinning? Trace explains in this video
here. Alright y’all, space is a big place! And
there’s still a lot to learn about it, what do you guys wanna know about the final frontier?
Let us know down in the comments below. Please like this video and subscribe to DNews so
you don’t miss a single episode.


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