Swift's UV portrait of the Andromeda Galaxy

NASA's Swift satellite has acquired the highest-resolution view of the neighboring spiral galaxy M31. Also known as the Andromeda Galaxy, M31 is the largest and closest such galaxy to our own. It's more than 220,000 light-years across and lies 2.5 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. Between May 25 and July 26, 2008, Swift's Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) acquired 330 images of M31 at wavelengths of 192.8, 224.6, and 260 nanometers. The images represent a total exposure time of 24 hours. Some 20,000 ultraviolet sources are visible in the image, including M32, a small galaxy in orbit around M31. Dense clusters of hot, young, blue stars sparkle in the disk beyond the galaxy's smooth, redder central bulge. Star clusters are especially plentiful along a ring about 150,000 light-years across.

For More Information



Stefanie Misztal (UMBC): Video Editor
Stefan Immler (UMCP): Narrator
Stefanie Misztal (UMBC): Producer
Stefan Immler (UMCP): Scientist
Francis Reddy (SPSYS): Writer
Please give credit for this item to:
Swift image: NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler (GSFC) and Erin Grand (UMCP) Optical image: Bill Schoening, Vanessa Harvey/REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Short URL to share this page:


Data Used:

This item is part of these series:
Narrated Movies
Goddard Shorts
Astrophysics Stills
Astrophysics Features

Goddard TV Tape:
G2009-079 -- A Swift Tour of M31

SVS >> Galaxy
SVS >> Gamma Ray
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Universe
SVS >> Edited Feature
SVS >> Swift
DLESE >> Narrated
SVS >> Voice Over Talent
SVS >> Star
NASA Science >> Universe