The Andromeda galaxy It is a star system similar to our Galaxy, but much larger. It is estimated that its diameter is approximately 200 thousand light years, twice the Milky Way, and the number of stars it contains is around 300 billion, triple. It is also identified with the acronym M 31 of the Messier catalog or NGC 224 of the New General Catalog.
On moonless nights, it is visible to the naked eye as a small, dim elliptical fog located in the constellation of the same name. However, it is to the telescope where its spectacular disk structure formed by myriads of stars is revealed, characterized by spiral arms and accompanied by two small galaxies, M 32 and NGC 205, which rotate around them just as the two clouds do of Magellan with our Galaxy.
Its distance from the Sun is 2.2 million light years. Andromeda is, therefore, the closest galaxy to us and also the furthest celestial object visible to the naked eye. Along with at least thirty other galaxies, including ours, Andromeda is a member of the so-called Local Group, a system of gravitationally related galaxies.
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