This computer-processed image of the Andromeda galaxy (M31) identified
regions where young stars are probably forming, seen here as yellow and
white areas. The image was processed from observations of the galaxy by
the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). The colors represent the
intensity of infrared radiation observed by the IRAS telescope. Blue
areas represent regions of faint infrared emission, while green, yellow,
orange and red areas show respectively more intense infrared emissions.
Brighter areas represent regions populated by either numerous or massive
young stars. Like our Galaxy, the Milky Way, Andromeda is a spiral galaxy.
Andromeda is approximately 20,000 light-years across, about 2 million
light-years away. (One light-year is about 6 trillion miles.) It is the
nearest spiral galaxy similar to the Milky Way. IRAS observations of the
galaxy represent the first extensive, high-sensitivity study of Andromeda
in the infrared.
INFRARED PROCESSING AND ANALYSIS CENTER