The Evolving Universe

Smithsonian Institution

Peeling Back The Layers II

Layers2 image

View/Download Full Resolution Image

View/Download Poster (PDF)

The multi-colored image of the Andromeda Galaxy combines two images taken of different ranges of radiation—energy emitted as waves or particles—that we normally cannot see.

The near-infrared image (red) shows the choppy waves of dust and gas that make up the spiral arms of this galaxy. New stars form in these dusty areas.

The infrared image (blue) reveals a smooth sea of stars. These are older stars that have been burning for billions of years. Old stars populate the bright center of the Andromeda Galaxy.