Andromeda-like galaxy spied from afar with Herschel-ATLAS

The Herschel ATLAS is a large survey ideally suited for finding rare objects and distant galaxies but sometimes, we see more normal spiral galaxies in the nearby Universe.  

In this large Herschel map (below), amongst the thousands of dots (which are dusty distant galaxies), Herschel spies a spiral galaxy just like our nearest neighbour Andromeda.  Inset, we zoom in on the Herschel image of the galaxy NGC 4725 (right) and the optical image (left).  The Herschel image is made up of the three SPIRE wavelengths combined, the bluer areas show hotter dust, and the red regions are from cooler dust. The dusty spiral arms are clearly seen.  The optical image shows the light from stars, whereas the dust shows the light from dust, where the next generation of stars are being born.

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