The Andromeda Galaxy
The Andromeda Galaxy, M31, is located 2.3 million light years away, making it the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way. M31 dominates the small group of galaxies (of which our own Milky Way is a member), and can be seen with the naked eye as a spindle-shaped "cloud" the width of the full Moon. Like the Milky Way, M31 is a giant spiral-shaped disk of stars, with a bulbous central hub of older stars. M31 has long been known to have a bright and extremely dense grouping of a few million stars clustered at the very center of its spherical hub.