NASA has released the largest image ever taken by humans. The incredible 1.5 billion-pixel image shows Andromeda Galaxy (M31) in stunning detail. The image is so large that it requires about 4.3 GB of disk space!
Taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope the image shows an estimated 100 million stars of a galaxy over 2 million light-years from home.
Facts about the largest image to keep in mind:
1. Each tiny dot in the image is a star, that could have its own solar system. Don’t bother counting. There are an estimated 100 million stars in this image alone.
2. The Andromeda galaxy is about 2.5 million light-years from Earth, which means it takes light 2.5 million years to span the distance. Compare that to light from the sun, which takes only 8 minutes and 17 seconds to make the trip to Earth.
3. Scientists estimate the Milky Way and Andromeda are two of the universe’s 200 billion galaxies.
4. The Hubble Space Telescope is powerful enough to show individual stars in this 61,000-light-year-long stretch of the galaxy. NASA scientists compared it to photographing a beach and showing individual grains of sand.
For a second, take a moment and think of how big our universe is. Where are we? Where do things begin? And where does it stop? We don’t have to answer this literally, but simply picture it in your mind. What you are about to see in this video will likely rock whatever you just imagined in your mind.
Photo Credit: NASA