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Galaxy M 32

The compact elliptic galaxy M 32 is the brightest companion of the Andromeda Nebula. It contains not only small old stars but some younger ones with the size of our Sun and above as well. This is unusual for elliptic galaxies. Possibly M 32 is the core of a former spiral galaxy whose spiral arms got torn off by the Andromeda Nebula.

Constellation: Andromeda
Distance: 2.7 million light-years
Visual magnitude: 8.1
Mass: 3 billion * Sun
Diameter: 8000 light-years
Type: dE2

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03/19/2006

    M 32
Photo: Thomas M. Brown (GSFC) et al., NASA

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