Blogs Jan 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm


It's pretty small. I could crush it between my thumb and forefinger.
Glad you posted this here on Slog. I saw it go by in the Twitter feed earlier, and was enjoying it a lot. Now if only I could navigate to the original image, not just go through the same loop on the Twitterverse...

@2: You just made my day by making me think of this Calvin & Hobbes comic.
It looks like there is too much color. Other images of this galaxy don't have as much contrast in colors. I have to wonder if the galaxy was imaged with a filter and then scaled and pasted into this picture. If so, then this is NOT how it would look if it were brighter.

Here is what appears to be an unfiltered image (it is pretty much just white):

@4: I don't know what is going on with Slog's code, but when you link to a Wikipedia Image (not an article), everything becomes garbled, like the above post. In any case, here is a link from a different source:…
Pretty much every scientific astronomical image ever taken has been in black and white. You get color images by combining separate pictures taken with different filters.
Good Evening Charles,
Nice touch posting that "picture" of Andromeda Galaxy. Especially on New Year's Day. What a wonder of space. I thoroughly enjoy visions of our extraordinary universe. I check out NASA's as well as Jet Propulsion Lab's sites from time to time. I think they both feature Hubble Photos.
@3, I love it! But I think @2 might have been referring to this?
@4, Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy says the Andromeda image is in the ultraviolet, but looks similar to one taken in visible light.…
Our own Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy will collide in several billion years, and here's what it's expected to look like:…

Interestingly, so much empty space occupies each galaxy that it's unlikely that our own Sun will collide with another star.
You won't see the color or detail, but any halfway decent set of binoculars will show the impressive angular size of M31 (Andromeda) from a clear, dark sky. Eastern Washington in September is good, or after midnight in summer.

An existing snapshot of the process described @10 is the pair of galaxies M81 and M82. After their most recent close approach, M82 has been rather dramatically fucked up.…

The final result of the process is the rather more boring looking elliptical galaxy.…

@8: ಠ_ಠ What did I just watch?
@3 Sigh... Damn Bill Watterson, the fucking brilliant bastard. How dare he retire at the top of his game!

You just made my heart ache again, still deeply missing Calvin and Hobbes. It was a rare day that went by without that strip hitting one significant spot or another.

Bill W., thanks for the celebration of imagination, the human spirit and all its foibles, and the plain old warmth you poured into every frame, no matter the subject. I'll always treasure my Calvin & Hobbes books. Please keep them in print so I can replace them when I wear them out.

And Knat, thanks for the post.
@13: You're welcome/my apologies.

I feel the same way about Watterson and his work. While some (very) rare few other comics might have been comparable in artistic quality, he was in its own league in every other aspect. Though he did give an interview with Mental Floss recently, if you're interested.

I do think the use of false color in Hubble images may ultimately turn more people off astronomy. Rather than being awed by seeing a distant nebula or galaxy, the first question everyone asks is why the telescope isn't picking up color.
If the Andromeda galaxy were brighter, still wouldn't see it due to all the dust and debris that stand between our two galaxies.
On another forum, an astronomer pointed out that if Andromeda were indeed this bright, the radiation it emits would make Earth uninhabitable.
so beautiful

Please wait...

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