Andromeda galaxy bigger than believed
- URL to an article that appeared in MSNBC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The Andromeda galaxy just got bigger -- three times
bigger, astronomers said on Monday.
The galaxy is not actually expanding. But new measurements suggest that the
nearest galaxy to our own Milky Way is three times broader than astronomers had
They now believe a thin sprinkling of stars once thought to be a halo is in
fact part of Andromeda's main disk.
That makes the spiral galaxy, so close to Earth that it appeared as a fuzzy
blob to the ancients, more than 220,000 light-years across -- triple the
previous estimate of 70,000 to 80,000 light-years.
It appears that the outer fringes of the disk were made when smaller galaxies
slammed together, they told a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in
The structure is too bumpy to have been formed otherwise, said Rodrigo Ibata
of the Observatoire Astronomique de Strasbourg in France."
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]