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.