• This sweeping bird's-eye view of a portion of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) is the sharpest image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbor.NASA/ ESA
  • Hubble Views 'Third Kind' of GalaxyNASA/ ESA
  • Hubble Gazes at R Sculptoris and its Hidden CompanionNASA/ ESA

NASA published a high definition bird eye view image of the spiral Andromeda M31 Galaxy. NASA describes this image as the "sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbour."

With a resolution of 1.5 billion pixels or 1.5 gigapixels and storage size of 4.5 GB, NASA claims this is the largest image ever taken till date.

A YouTube user, named "davechuk", has posted an animated version of the image that has got more than 6.7 million views.

It has been learnt that the Space Telescope can capture 100 million unique stars in a 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy's pancake-shaped disk. Referring to the image, NASA further says: "It's like photographing a beach and resolving individual grains of sand. And there are lots of stars in this sweeping view -- over 100 million, with some of them in thousands of star clusters seen embedded in the disk."

The HD panoramic view has been completed under the PHAT (Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury) program. Images were obtained by viewing the galaxy in near-ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared wavelengths, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3 aboard Hubble. This cropped view shows a 48,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy in its natural visible-light colour, as photographed with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in red and blue filters. The panorama is being presented at the 225th Meeting of the Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.

Gigapixels of Andromeda [4K]daveachuk/ YouTube
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