"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."

Messier 31 or NGC 224 The Andromeda Galaxy with its two largest satellite galaxies; M32 and M110.
Right Ascension 00h 42m 44.3 - Declination +41° 16′ 9″

Imaging Telescope or Lens: Taken with a Primalucelabs AIRY Apo 65F 420mm f/6.5 Astrograph
Camera SBIG STF 8300 CCD Mono, Filter's Baader Luminance. and Ha 7nm

Andromeda, also known as Messier 31 (M31), is a spiral galaxy located about 2.5 million light years away. It received its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda, which was named after the mythological princess Andromeda. M31 is approximately 220,000 light years across. Although similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy, M 31 may be twice as large, containing 300 billion suns. Billions of stars are packed tightly together at the galaxy core, creating the bright central glow, and concealing a massive black hole. M 31 is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and other smaller galaxies .

It is thought that the Milky Way and Andromeda will collide several billion years from now. The black holes located in both galaxies will then reside in the large, elliptical galaxy that results from this merger. At the moment the Mlkey Way and Andromeda are plunging toward each other at a combined speed of 267,000 miles per hour, and are gradually picking up speed under the influence of the gentle gravitational acceleration between them.

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