Breathtaking images of Messier 31 show a beautiful galaxy

Looking up at the night sky in some places on Earth it's hard to see just how beautiful the universe can be. In some places, light pollution means you can only see the brightest of the stars. Thankfully no matter where we live, we can enjoy breathtaking images shot of deep space objects such as these photos of Messier 31, also known as Andromeda.

The images are a collaboration with an astrophotographer named David Lane and J-P Metsavainio. The first image on the page is a deep H-alpha boosted LRGB exposure of M31. In it, you can see the arms of the spiral galaxy and the hoards of stars behind the galaxy.

The next close-up is of the dust lanes of Andromeda that look like some sort of desert sandstorm in space. The next image removes most of the stars from the picture so you can focus only on Andromeda and its beauty. The photo shows M31 as seen just outside the Milky Way. M31 is 2.5 million light years from us.

If you are unfamiliar with Andromeda or Messier 31, it is a spiral galaxy and is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. In the distant future, about 3.75 million years from now, our galaxy and Andromeda are expected to collide to create a giant elliptical galaxy or large disk galaxy.

SOURCE: Astroanarchy