As most of you will have heard by now, NASA this month has released a stunning 1.5 Billion pixel photograph of our neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy. (For comparison, the average household camera can produce about 10 million pixels per photo, so you would need 150 photos stitched together perfectly to match this one.). This is the highest resolution, sharpest photo ever taken of the Andromeda.

It was captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, and is believed to show over 100 million separate stars. And when one considers that in our own galaxy, ever star studied has been found to have between one and ten planets, each with a number of moons, one can only imagine what curious and amazing discoveries are hidden in this photo. (And just to clarify, no one is claiming that this photo can actually be used to find planets, moons, or space aliens).

Unfortunately this photo is so large that there is no way to do it justice - a high definition television can only display slightly less than 1 million pixels, or 0.05% of the image at one time. However for a glimpse of the true scale of the image, users can view a 4K video created by YouTube user daveachuk located here, or an interactive zoomable photo located here

And with all of those staggering numbers still in your mind, consider this: The 1.5 Gigapixel image is just a small 40,000 lightyear wide section of the galaxy. The full galaxy contains over 1 trillion stars, with the accompanying planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and who knows what else! And that is just a single galaxy among the millions that form the entire Universe. It makes you feel kind of small, doesn't it?