Monday, April 9, 2012

Interesting science facts about Andromeda galaxy

Andromeda galaxy, also known as M31, is galaxy located at a distance of about 2.5 million light years, and is therefore the nearest galaxy to our planet apart from smaller companion galaxies such as the Magellanic Clouds.

Andromeda galaxy shows a large ring of dust about 75 000 light-years across encircling the centre of the galaxy. Some scientists believe this is the result of a collision with another galaxy in past.

It is estimated that Andromeda galaxy contains around one trillion stars.

The Andromeda galaxy is the only galaxy outside the Milky Way visible to the naked eye.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains our own galaxy (Milky Way).

Eventually Andromeda galaxy and Milky way galaxy will collide and this is expected to occur in 4-5 billion years because Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Milky Way at about 100 to 140 kilometres per second. What will happen when these two collide remains a mystery though many scientists believe this will result in formation of a giant elliptical galaxy.

According to 2010 theory Andromeda galaxy was formed out of the collision of two smaller galaxies between 5 and 9 billion years ago.

The Andromeda Galaxy is thought to be less massive compared to our galaxy because it is believed that our galaxy has more dark matter.

Supernovae are twice as common in Andromeda galaxy than in Milky way galaxy.

The Andromeda galaxy has 14 known satellite galaxies.