The center of the Andromeda galaxy is beautiful but strange.
, indexed as M31, is so close to our own Milky Way Galaxy
that it gives a unique perspective into galaxy composition by allowing us to see into its core.
Billions of stars swarm around a center that has two nuclei
and likely houses a supermassive black hole
over 5 million times the mass of our Sun
M31 is about two million light years away and visible with the unaided eye towards the constellation
of Andromeda, the princess
, dark knots
are seen superposed on the inner 10,000 light years
of M31's core.
The brighter stars are foreground stars located in our Milky Way Galaxy
Selected NASA's Astronomy Picture the Day for December 27, 2004.