Andromeda appears dazzling crowned in a halo of gases: Is it trying to reveal how galaxies are born

Scientists uncovered a massive gaseous halo around the Andromeda Galaxy whose size is approximately 100 times the diameter of the moon using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

The halo of gas is also known as Messier 31 or the M31.

The discovery was published in Astrophysical Journal; it was discussed by astrophysicists Nicolas Lehner and J. Christopher Howk of the University of Notre Dame and Bart P. Wakker of the University of Wisconsin.

“Halos are the gaseous atmospheres of galaxies,” Lehner said in a statement released by Notre Dame News. “The properties of these gaseous halos control the rate at which stars form in galaxies.”

Howk clarified that the amount of gaseous halo surrounding the Andromeda Galaxy between the earth and a quasar can be determined by gauging the hollow in brightness.

Lehner, Howk and Wakker hypothesized that around 4 billion years from now, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way Galaxy could smash together and form an enormous elliptical if the previous has an analogous halo to the second.

Astrophysicists stated that the halo of gas found around the Andromeda Galaxy is “invisible.” The Andromeda Galaxy, having one trillion stars, is believed to be larger and more dazzling than the Milky Way Galaxy.





  1. Allen says

    “a massive gaseous halo around the Andromeda Galaxy whose size is approximately 100 times the diameter of the moon” ?? Gee, I thought Andromeda was bigger than that!

  2. Charles Butt says

    “Massive halo around Andromeda galaxy 100 x the diameter of the moon”
    Sounds like a pretty small galaxy. there must be something wrong about that statement

  3. Charles Butt says

    If the halo around Andromeda galaxy is only 100x the diameter of the moon it must be a pretty small galaxy or something is wrong with the statement

  4. says

    If you expect the folks who always resort to “one tenth the size of a human hair” to get ANY measurement correct, you are kidding yourself.

    When confronted with stuff like light-years, or parsecs, they punt. Math is hard, and science requires math, and can’t we talk about how awful the Republicans are?

  5. relmasian says

    Allen, you are indeed right. The Andromeda Galaxy is “astronomically” bigger than the physical diameter of the moon. What writer Gore should have made clearer is that he is writing about the visually angle taken up by the gas cloud in our view of the sky. It is 100 times that taken up by the moon, i.e. 50 degree versus .5 degrees for the moon.

    Of course, we do not see the gas cloud in our sky. Astronomers have only recently detected it. The part of the Andromeda Galaxy we see in our sky takes up slightly less than 3 degrees of visual angle. So, the invisible, surrounding gas cloud is much, much larger than the part of the galaxy we see. If we could see the gas cloud, it would occupy roughly a quarter of our view of the sky.

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