Picture of the Day: The Andromeda Galaxy Seen in Ultraviolet

492456main_Swift_M31_large_UV_full.jpg

So this isn't exactly a picture of the day, but it's close. It's a special day: We have a mosaic for you instead. A combination of 330 separate photographs taken by the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope on NASA's Swift spacecraft, this is the highest-resolution image of the Andromeda Galaxy that's ever been recorded in ultraviolet. "M31 is more than 220,000 light-years across and lies 2.5 million light-years away," according to NASA. "On a clear, dark night, the galaxy is faintly visible as a misty patch to the naked eye."

View more Pictures of the Day.

Image: NASA.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

Video

Is Minneapolis the Best City in America?

No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well.

More in Technology

Just In