A Beautiful Look at the Galaxy that Will Collide With Us In 4 Billion Years

By Jesus Diaz on at

In four billion years, Andromeda will collide with the Milky Way. That will be an amazing view—but until then we have to look at it from a distance. This new photo by the European Space Agency's Herschel Space Observatory shows a beautiful sight. From NASA:

The glow seen here comes from the longer-wavelength, or far, end of the infrared spectrum, giving astronomers the chance to identify the very coldest dust in our galactic neighbor. These light wavelengths span from 250 to 500 microns, which are a quarter to half of a millimeter in size. Herschel's ability to detect the light allows astronomers to see clouds of dust at temperatures of only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero. These clouds are dark and opaque at shorter wavelengths. The Herschel view also highlights spokes of dust between the concentric rings.

I just can look at these space images all day long. [NASA]