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ANDROMEDA M31 or NGC 224 The Andromeda Galaxy once known as The Great Nebula in Andromeda is one of the largest members of what is called the Local Group It is a spiral galaxy closest to our solar system and is visible as a faint misty spot in the Andromeda constellation It is also classified as M31 This classification comes from it being the 31st object in a list first compiled by the 18th century French astronomer Charles Messier This list was a list of things that were not comets for which he was searching Andromeda was even mistakenly believed to be a nebula prior to being observed by way of powerful telescopes The distance between M31 and the Milky Way galaxy is approximately 22 million light-years and is the nearest spiral galaxy This supports the fact that Andromeda is not an open or globular cluster in our Milky Way galaxy but yet a tremendous independent celestial creation Being classified as a spiral galaxy Andromeda is characterized by a nuclear bulge and by arched lanes of stars and glowing interstellar clouds which appear as spiral arms Andromeda is very similar in size and spiral configuration to our own galaxy This galaxy is the only object not part of the Milky Way that can be seen with the unassisted eye Supported by a good observing environment even the galaxys bright central protuberance can be detected with the eye This galaxy covers and area in the Northern Hemispheres evening sky roughly five times as large as the full moon Although 22 million light-years away M31 is close enough to us that images of its core less than 1 pc across can be resolved by the Hubble Space Telescope These pictures enlightened the scientific community that this galaxy has two bright regions in its core or in other terms a double nucleus The dimmer region is believed to be its actual nucleus The
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