Universe  ID: 10485

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:
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

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
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Spectral/Engineering >> Gamma Ray
SVS >> Astrophysics
SVS >> Universe
SVS >> Edited Feature
SVS >> Swift
DLESE >> Narrated
SVS >> Voice Over Talent
SVS >> Star
NASA Science >> Universe

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version