M31 – The Great Andromeda Spiral

Messier 31 is the nearest major galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy.  It is known by many names including “The Great Andromeda Nebula”  It is approximately 220,000 light years across and 2.5 million light years distant.  M31 is on a colission course with out Milky Way galaxy and they are expected to merge in around 4.5 billion years.  This image was taken at raheny observatory in August 2014.