The purpose of creating AmazingUniverse.info is to display scientific articles, information, and commentary, along with analogous data related to astronomy, cosmology, and religion, in an attempt to disprove primitive sacrosanct myths. Archaic allegories, superstitions, episcopal and global nepotism, keep us divided, and keep us in the dark. ~ taskeinc

The Amazing Universe

Excerpts from Sirius Documentary

03:02
- Senator Daniel Inouye: A shadowy government with its own air force, its own navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of the national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.

03:22 - Sergeant Clifford Stone, US Army -Extraterrestrial Retrieval Team: We have contact with Aliens, not originating from some foreign country, but from some other Solar System and I have been a party to that.

04:55 - Executive summary gives you an idea of the extent of the knowledge of men and women who have come forward heroically to tell the world, our elected representatives, and our scientist, the truth about a subject which has been the subject of much ridicule, fantasy, and speculation for over 50 years. Three essential areas are presented:
  1. What is the evidence? What is the testimony? What do the case files and government documents support?
  2. The mechanism for secrecy. How has something of this import been kept secret from our representatives and how has it been kept off the national and international radar for over 50 years?
  3. Why has it been kept secret? What are the implications?

06:50 - January 1961, Dwight Eisenhower speech about guarding against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the Military Industrial Complex and misplaced power.

49:29 - Witnesses give unmistakably clear testimony about the fact that the extra-terrestrial vehicles appear to be quite concerned about our weapons of mass destruction. In fact, more than one of these witnesses have stated that they believe these extra-terrestrial vehicles were there because they were very concerned that we might blow ourselves up, or, that we might begin to go into space and be a threat to other civilizations.

1:44:01 - Extra-terrestrial close contact, craft and body retrieval. Objects have been captured, retrieved, and studied.

1:48:56 - Brigadier General Lovekin learns of extraterrestrial bodies discovered at the Roswell crash site in 1947.

06:10 - Technologies connected to UFO and extra-terrestrial vehicles, if declassified and used for peaceful energy, generation and propulsion would solve the looming energy crises definitively; would end global warming; would correct the environmental challenges that planet Earth is facing.

It is also critical that we begin to debate as a society the propriety of placing weapons in space. We are not alone, and space is territory which we are sharing with other civilizations. It would be extremely imprudent and destabilizing to place weapons in space. This is not being debated because it is off the national and international radar screens.

It has been proven that these objects of extra-terrestrial origin have been tracked on radar going thousands of miles per hour, stopping on a dime, and making right turns. They use anti-gravity propulsion systems that we have figured out via classified projects in the United States, Great Britain, and elsewhere. Our cosmic neighbors have landed on terra firma and have been retrieved by teams in the United States. Extra-terrestrial life forms have been retrieved and their vehicles have been taken and studied thoroughly, for at least 50 years.

42:57 - Mitchell AFB Launch Officer - Captain Robert Salas: March 1967 stationed at Malstrom AFB Montana. On the morning of March 16, 1967 received call from primary security guard. The call stated they were seeing strange lights in the sky. 1st call disregarded, 2nd call from a more frightened guard, much more intense tone. He reported a bright, glowing, red object hovering outside the front gate, oval shaped. All the other guards were out with weapons drawn. Launch Officer Salas woke up his commander, Retired Col. Frederick Meiwald, told him about the phone calls. As he was briefing Col. Meiwald his weapons started going down - disabled - one by one they went into a "no-go condition", lost between 6 and 8 weapons that morning. After reporting the incident to the command post, they were informed that a very similar occurrence happened at Echo Flight (Salas was at Oscar Flight) they lost all 10 of their weapons under similar circumstances, where UFO's were sighted over the launch facilities. These missiles were perfectly clean but were deactivated. Retired AF Captain Eric Carlson was another witness to these events (read interview here).

48:17 - Lt. Colonel Deyn Arnesson (US Air Force - Ret): Served 26 years all over the world, including Vietnam. Testifies to 3 UFO sightings.

57:50 - Lunar Orbiter Project, Sgt. Karl Wolf, US Air Force: 1965, stationed at Langley AFB. Discovered a base on the backside of the moon. Photographs show structures, mushroom shaped buildings, spherical buildings, and towers. This compartmentalized security was disclosed 30 years ago but has never been shared with the American public.

1:00:10 - Donna Hare, NASA Employee from 1967-1981, Design Illustrator: worked as a contractor on site in Building 8 and was able to go into restricted areas. Saw photograph of an object and was told that all types of UFO's were airbrushed out of photographs. Guards were always asked to burn photographs and to not look at images. Astronauts saw alien craft on the moon when we landed, but have always been told to not talk about.

1:20:12 - Attorney Daniel Sheehan: Harvard Graduate and General Council to the Disclosure Project. In 1977, as General Council to United States Jesuit headquarters in Washington, DC., Sheehan was contacted by Marsha Smith, Director of Science and Technology Division of the Congressional Research Service. She informed him that President Carter, upon taking office in January 1977, held a meeting with the Director of Central Intelligence (CIA) George Bush Sr. President Carter demanded that CIA director Bush, turn over classified information about UFO's and the information in possession of the U.S. Intelligence community concerning the existence of Extra-terrestrial Intelligence. This information was refused to the president by George Bush Sr. The director insisted that the president needed to go through several sources to have this information declassified. It was suspected that Carter was prepared to reveal this information to the American public. Sheehan was also refused access to the information in the Vatican Library regarding extra-terrestials.

1:28:20 - Dr. Carol Rosin: Global Cooperative Space - Stop the Weaponization of Space because of the lie being told.

1:35:18 - Who makes a profit from all the secrecy?

1:37:56 - Is anyone from the United Nations looking into UFO's and ET's?

1:38:42 - Describe what Aliens look like? Have catalogues 57 different species. All entities were humanoid, some looked just like us, except with advanced abilities.

1:46:10 - How does the screening process work for witnesses? Are you satisfied with the witness pool? There have been tens of thousands of sightings and experiences from all over the world. Only one needs to be true, because if only one is true, then the entire case against there not being intelligent life in the universe, falls apart.

Space Weapons in Development

The U.S. is foolishly trying to place weapons in space. The cosmos are shared by multiple civilizations and none of the intelligent beings that share our galaxy are trying to weaponize space (even though they certainly have the technology to do so). The militarization of space is the placement and development of weaponry and military technology in outer space. The U.S. Strategic Space Command as of June 2002, didn't hide the fact that it wants to establish U.S. supremacy in space. In its Vision for 2020 report, the Space Command points out that military forces have always evolved to protect national interests, both military and economic. The report suggests that space weapons must be developed to protect U.S. satellites, and other space vehicles, as other countries develop the ability to launch spacecraft into space. In 1997, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space, Keith R. Hall, said, "With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it and we're going to keep it."

The Pentagon has said that as space enterprises begin to gain commercial advantage, there will be those who try to take
some of the profits by attacking those space enterprises. Here are some of the space weapons currently under development:

  • Chemical Lasers
  • Particle Beams
  • Military Space Planes

The United States and the USSR has attempted to use the cosmos as an opportunity to demonstrate ballistic missile technology and other militarisable technologies. Space has been used as an operating location for military spacecraft such as imaging and communications satellites, and some ballistic missiles pass through outer space during their flight. As yet, however, weapons have not been stationed in space, with the exception of the Almaz Space Station and small handguns carried by Russian cosmonauts.

There is no evidence that alien life forms from elsewhere, are hostile towards us. But there is a great deal of evidence they
are concerned with our hostility.
There are times when alien beings have neutralized, or rendered inert, the launch capabilities of intercontinental ballistic missiles. More advanced beings have clearly shown they do not want us to weaponize space and yet we are proceeding down that dangerous path. By attempting to place weapons in space, Earthlings are picking a fight they cannot win. The primary reason these universal entities are far more advanced than we are is because Interstellar civilizations use technologies that interface with consciousness and thought.

The mission of this website is to expand the awareness of the close-minded, canonical society. In doing so, this will eradicate fear and unveil the freedom that comes with thinking independently. Most people do not read, therefore, their stance on religious philosophy, is often skewed by what they have been taught since adolescence. Even those who study theology are cogitating on medieval literature purportedly from a Divine Being.

The majority tend to repeat what they've heard since birth; what their church leaders tell them, and what little they understand about the Bible.

People who consistently quote outdated scriptures, rarely study global finance, astronomy, geology, cosmology, geography, philosophy, or any other science. They simply reassert what they've heard, maybe add a new, unproven twist every now and then, and that's the extent of their knowledge.

This is why we're referred to as a dumb-downed-society because most people, after high school, never pick up another book. Except a holy book, and the majority only pick that up, dust it off, on their way to church. The bulk of believers can't tell you one thing about Epicurus, Plato, Aristotle, Emanuel Kant, Socrates, Thomas Aquinas, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Nicholas Copernicus, Edwin Hubble, Rene Descartes, and don't have a clue what Einstein's Theory of Relativity is about, nor do most care.

The late astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, asked the question: Who is more humble? The scientist who looks at the universe with an open mind and accepts whatever the universe has to teach us, or somebody who says everything in this book must be considered the literal truth and never mind the fallibility of all the human beings involved?

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back."

Enjoy the journey through our Amazing Universe

Carl Sagan was an astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer, science communicator, in astronomy and natural sciences, and a Pulitzer prize winner.

Dr. Sagan spent most of his career as a professor of astronomy at Cornell University where he directed the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He advocated scientifically skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Here's an excerpt of what Sagan stated in a 1966 interview. "Many of the stars in the sky have planetary systems. We know enough now about the origin of life to appear likely that life arises naturally on the vast bulk of these planets. It's possible that life, on many of these planets, evolves into beings which are advanced as we, or more advanced. I don't see any reason why we can't imagine that there are civilizations, thousands or millions of years in advance of ourselves, capable of technical feats that we can hardly imagine."

As a tribute to one of the most intellectually enlightened thinkers of our time, taskeinc recapitulates Dr. Sagan's most poignant soliloquy, "The Pale Blue Dot".

This astronomer and scientist, had one of the most brilliant minds in the history of cosmology. Here are a few favorite quotes: 

  • Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.
  • We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
  • The nuclear arms race is like two sworn enemies standing waist deep in gasoline, one with three matches, the other with five.
  • Frederick Douglas taught that literacy is the path from slavery to freedom. There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, but reading is still the path.
  • The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.
  • Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

Destroying the Ecosystem

The 11th Hour is a documentary from Leonardo DiCaprio about the state of humanity and the world.

Co-directors Leila Conners Petersen and Nadia Conners conduct interviews with some of the world's leading scientists and creative thinkers in a film that asks whether or not it's too late to avoid the ecological disaster that looms ominously on the horizon.

In addition to exploring how the human race has arrived at this crucial point in history, there are conversations in progress with 50 leading thinkers, scientists, and leaders including former Soviet prime minister Mikhail Gorbachev, world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, and sustainable design experts Bruce Mau and William McDonough, to find out just what humankind can do about the most pressing issues of our time.

Human beings are an incredibly young species. There is a fundamental illusion in the world that somehow we are separate from nature. The reality is that we are part of nature, in fact, we are nature. This is the fundamental misunderstanding in the world that is causing so much havoc.

Our culture is built on the assumption that we are the superior life form on Earth; that we are separate from all other life forms; that we've been given dominion over all other life forms. Even to think that we are separated from nature is a thinking disorder.

It is not possible to be separate from nature and why we think that way is what's interesting. What happens in the mind that likes to think it's distinct from nature? We are living in total disharmony with the planet. We're exploring space, which is a good thing, but our explorations do not affect our attitudes. Attitudes that are based on selfishness, the economic situation, and politics. How many governments in the world have taken the environmental crisis for what it is? Very few, and certainly not the United States.

We live in a human created environment where it's very easy to think we are different from other creatures. We're smart, we create our own habitat, we don't need nature, it's the economy that's most important. In focusing in on the economy we have forgotten ancient truths; ancient wisdoms that kept us plugged into nature and understanding that if we do something to offend the natural world, we're going to pay a price for that. We have to treat nature much more gently. This is the lesson we have forgotten and we're dealing with the consequences today.

Global Warming: The human impact with Global Warming is happening in the arctic, even faster than scientist indicated. By the end of the century, maybe even in a few decades, the arctic could very well be, ice-free. The climate change is going to have a very strong and fundamental impact on the global water cycle. It will change rainfall patterns, likely increase our experience with floods and droughts, and will certainly change the pattern of river flows throughout the year. These are all basic aspects of having to manage and use water. What the climate changes linked to global warming does, is that it adds another dimension of uncertainty; it threatens your food security; threatens your water and sea level security; security against storms, hurricanes, etc.

This is an international security problem. The UN estimates that by the middle of the century there may be as many as 150 million environmental refugees at any given time, from climate change. Katrina was just the tip of the iceberg, the worst is yet to come. Global warming is real, it's destructive, and its impact defies the imagination. Earth is hurting and humans have not figured out how to change their ways, and we are the culprit.

As carbon has been accumulating in the atmosphere, it's also been accumulating in the ocean. As time has passed, deforestation, soil erosion, vanishing wetlands, and a host of other problems have continued unabated. We face a convergence of crisis, all of which, are a concern for life.

~ Excerpts from 11th Hour

Einstein's Theory of Relativity is a critical starting point and what highlights the characteristics of the world in which we live. Einstein's theory of special relativity, introduced a new framework for all of physics and proposed new concepts of space and time. In other words, our universe is not what it appears to be, and not even close to what we have been led to believe.

In 1915, Albert Einstein first proposed his theory of special relativity. Essentially, this theory proposes the universe we live in includes 4 dimensions, the first three being what we know as space, and the fourth being space-time, which is a dimension where time and space are inextricably linked. According to Einstein, two people observing the same event in the same way could perceive the singular event occurring at two different times, depending upon their distance from the event in question. The theory of relativity was revolutionary because it showed how the speed at which time happens is subject to change, that space and time are not separate entities: time, space, and motion (e, movement through space) collapse into a fourth dimension, in which all act on each other.

Put it another way, imagine you have a twin. You stay on earth, your twin goes into space, traveling at the speed of light, for 10 years. When your twin returns, she's a couple of years younger than you are.

Another example of Einstein's "Twin Paradox" is, a 25 year old twin stays on earth while the other sets off on a space voyage, traveling almost at the speed of light. After 10 years in space, she heads back to Earth. By the time she lands, her on-board clock shows that 20 years as passed and she is 45 years of age. Because of relativity, her twin sister is now, 71 years old. Space travel, at 186,000 miles per second, is also time travel. Therefore, the twin who went on the space voyage actually travelled into the future without getting that much older. Time is only relevant in this earthly dimension.

The Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is an image of a small region in the constellation Ursa Major, constructed from a series of observations by the Hubble Space Telescope. It covers an area 2.5 arcminutes across, about one 24-millionth of the whole sky, which is equivalent in angular size to a 65 mm tennis ball at a distance of 100 meters.

The image was assembled from 342 separate exposures taken with the Space Telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 over ten consecutive days between December 18 and December 28, 1995.

Three years after the HDF observations were taken, a region in the south celestial hemisphere was imaged in a similar way and named the Hubble Deep Field South.

The similarities between the two regions strengthened the belief that the universe is uniform over large scales and that the Earth occupies a typical region in the universe (the cosmological principle).

A wider but shallower survey was also made as part of the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey. In 2004 a deeper image, known as the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF), was constructed from a total of eleven days of observations.

The HUDF image was at the time the most sensitive astronomical image ever made at visible wavelengths, until the Hubble Extreme Deep Field (XDF) was released in 2012
.
It even works with airplanes, circle the earth, flying low, when you return to your starting point, your watch will be slightly behind. If you were actually moving at the speed of light (which you couldn't do, but suppose you could), your watch would stop altogether.

It's called the "Theory of Relativity" because time and length are no longer absolutes. You’ve got your digital watch on your wrist and a meter ruler on your desk. These seem like absolutes: a second and a centimeter for you, must be the same as they are for me, and the same as they are on Alpha Centauri. But they’re not.

Einstein's Theory of Relativity has been proven to be a physical law of the universe. Although spacecraft are still too slow for astronauts to notice the effects of relativity, research into the behavior of subatomic particles gives clear support to the theory. A Swiss laboratory watches what happens to subatomic particles as they whiz through a circular tunnel attaining speeds close to that of light. The results, such as unstable particles staying alive a lot longer than they normally would, explain the theory of relativity.

The cornerstone of Einstein’s Relativity was, of course, E = mc2 — that is, energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. It is actually a simple equation, but its ramifications are monumental and universal. It means that there is an incredible amount of energy in any object, if we could just get at it in the nucleus of its atoms.

If this could be verified, it would seem to mean that Relativity’s basic tenants of space and energy and time being continuous would be one step closer to fact. It would be by the nuclear detonations at Alamogordo, New Mexico, July 16, 1945, that E = mc2 would be proved. A chain reaction in the uranium atom caused the greatest explosion man had ever known. The atomic age had dawned.

As the space age dawned, further proof came of Einstein’s concept of the continuity of time and space. Atomic clocks placed at orbital heights recorded time passing just slightly faster than those at sea level. Where gravity, and hence a curvature of space, was greatest time moved more slowly; where it was not, more quickly. The passage of time as we record and experience it here was actually slower than in space.

Mass such as this planet, did seem to bend space before it, and with this it did seem to slow time. Fractionally, granted. But it finally opened the labyrinth of time to logical conquest. Theoretically, it was proposed the greater the curvature of space, the greater time would be slowed. But if the Earth could only slow time fractionally by its massive size and speed through space, what on earth, or anywhere else, could bend space even more to significantly affect the progression of time? The examples of speeding cars clearly indicates they cannot go fast enough to truly bend space and lock one into a different progression of time. But would it really require huge mass and speed to do it? The planet was indeed doing it slightly. But if time’s pathway lay along energy, could not bending or changing its electromagnetic frequencies also bring this about? There must be other methods to bend electromagnetic wavelengths.


Gravitational Time Dilation

An important aspect of Einstein's theory of relativity to note is that he proposed matter causes space to curve. If we pretend that "space" is a two-dimensional sheet, a planet place on this "sheet" would cause it to curve. This curvature of space results in what we perceive as gravity. Smaller objects are attracted to larger ones because they "roll" through the curved space towards the most massive objects, which cause the greatest degree of curvature. In relation to time, this curvature causes the gravitational time dilation effect. Under normal circumstances, this effect is impossible to observe. However, in the presence of the extremes of our universe (such as black holes, where a huge amount of matter is compressed into an extremely small volume), this effect becomes much more obvious. To a distant observer, an object falling into a black hole would appear to never reach it, due to time dilation causing time to "progress" extremely slower, at least relative to the distant observer (the object in question, however, would very rapidly be destroyed by the black hole).

A second aspect to the gravitational time dilation postulate is that the faster an object is moving, the slower time progresses for that object in relation to a stationary observer. While in everyday circumstances, this effect goes entirely unnoticed, it has proven to be true. An atomic clock placed on a jet airplane was shown to "tick" more slowly than an atomic clock at rest. However, even with the speeds achieved by a jet aircraft, the time dilation effect was minimal. A more solid example can be seen through an experiment performed on the International Space Station (ISS). After the first 6 months in space, the crew of the ISS aged .007 seconds less than the rest of us on earth (the relatively stationary observers). The station moves at approximately 18,000 miles per hour, much faster than the range of normal human speeds. Even with such speeds, however, time dilation is minimal unless you approach speeds close to the speed of light (300,000 kilometers per second; 1,080 million kilometers per hour; 186,000 miles per second; 671 million miles per second).

Time as a Fourth Dimension


To understand time as a fourth dimension, it is necessary to recognize that any human attempt to "draw" or "represent" time beyond our immediate perception of it (basic, linear progression), is inherently flawed, because our mental capacity is limited to three dimensions. However, time, like space, is a dimension in itself, and objects can transverse it in a similar way as they do through the third dimension. A popular way of viewing time is using a coordinate set of axes, except instead of using a plane with simple X and Y axes, a Z axes can be added.

As a person walks forward, he is traveling though the three dimensions of space, and a fourth as he progresses forward through time. Thus, for humans, time travel (or traveling through the fourth dimension) is entirely possible, but only in one direction. Relativity has shown us that it is possible to change our perception of time based on distance, gravitational dilation, or speed, while the direction of time has remained constant and singular.


Consequences of Einstein's Scientific Revolution

The changes Einstein ushered in with his radical theories of relativity resulted in the now ubiquitous E = mc2 equation, which essentially states that matter and energy are interchangeable (this discovery eventually led to the creation of the first nuclear fission bomb).

Einstein's equations also predicted the presence of black holes and gravitational waves, and were initially excused as inconsequential aberrations, however there is now substantial evidence to support the existence of black holes. Just as importantly, Einstein ushered in an entirely new age of theoretical physics, helping to tremendously advance our perception of the universe and directly contributing to today's modern string theory, an attempt to unify the theories of relativity and since-discovered quantum mechanics into a unified explanation of the universe.

Time Travel

Alien vehicles operate according to Einstein's theory called Special Relativity. The idea of Special Relativity are very hard to imagine because they aren't about what we experience in everyday life, but scientists have confirmed them. This theory says that space and time are really aspects of the same thing: space-time. There's a speed limit of 300,000 kilometers per second (or 186,000 miles per second) for anything that travels through space-time, and light always travels the speed limit through empty space.

Special Relativity also says that a surprising thing happens when you move through space-time, especially when your speed relative to other objects is close to the speed of light. Time moves slower for you than for the people you left behind. You won't notice this effect until you return to those stationary people.

When fifth dimensional regions line up, somewhat like the lining up of stars, alien spacecraft use fifth dimensional technology related to zero-point energy and time travel. A small reduction of zero-point-energy in front of an accelerating spacecraft would vastly reduce inertial resistance while expanding the speed of light in the direction of travel... EXPANDING THE SPEED OF LIGHT IN THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL. Therefore, the distance between say Alpha Centuri and our Sun is a matter of meters, instead of 4.367 light years, or 24 trillion miles.

Alien spacecraft travel on a beam of light associated with the alignment of planets and stars. These type alignments only take place several times a year, which would explain why aliens don't show up more often. The technology these advanced beings use is not solely based on speed, but how short you can make the trip. If you run a 1500-meter race and found that you could cover the distance in one step, that's what these intelligent beings are doing with "dimension skipping technology", based on Special Relativity and Zero-point Energy.


Once conventional light-speed is exceeded, tachyon physics would permit continued acceleration with a shedding of built-up energy. This process could continue up to the desired location. The "tachyonic particle" is a hypothetical particle that always moves faster than light.

While an object can’t exceed the speed of light in space-time, space-time itself can be warped and distorted. If a spaceship harnesses extremely dense matter from a neutron star, it could warp space-time enough to briefly pull two distant points together, the way that the edges of a bed sheet would come together if you dropped a heavy weight in the middle. Such warps in space-time (known as wormholes), may occur naturally in some places, and a spaceship would be able to exploit wormholes to travel enormous distances extremely quickly.

That's how Intelligent Beings get to us, but we have not quite figured it out. Human Beings are a very primitive race which is why we still fight and kill over trivial issues such as religion and create wars for profit.

The primary reasons these universal entities are far more advanced than we are is because of their advanced age (there are galaxies that are billions of years older than the Milky Way), coupled with the fact that they use technologies that interface with consciousness and thought.

Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31 or as the Great Spiral Galaxy, is one of the most distant objects that the unaided human eye can see; it lies over 2.2 to 3 million light years away. Locating it the first time is a little tricky, but once you find it, it's hard to ever lose it again.

The picture covers an area equivalent to more than 100 full moons, or five degrees across the sky. Andromeda is readily visible from a dark sky location as a fuzzy patch of light covering approximately 3+ degrees or 6 times the width of our moon.

The Great Spiral Galaxy is approximately 250,000 light years across much larger than our own Milky Way galaxy at only 100,000 lights years across. In about 5 billion years both our Milky Way galaxy and Andromeda will collide and begin to coalesce, perhaps evolving into an even larger elliptical type galaxy.

The image to the right reveals much detail and numerous globular star clusters and nebulae are visible. Both the Milky Way and Andromeda belong to the Local Group, a collection of more than 50 galaxies, most of which are tiny dwarf systems. In its quest to map the whole sky, WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) will capture the entire Local Group. 

7 Steps to finding the Andromeda Galaxy, from wikiHow:

  1. Use binoculars for your first attempt at finding the Andromeda Galaxy. While you don't need to use anything other than your eyes, using binoculars will make it significantly easier for you as a beginner, and binoculars will give you a wider viewing zone than a telescope, which is important for a beginner. Also, choose a cloud-free, clear night and if you live where the stars are never seen, you'll need to travel to somewhere where you can.

  2. Locate three constellations to get your bearings. You need to look for Pegasus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda. Pegasus was the flying horse in Greek mythology and the end star of Andromeda goes into making the Square of Pegasus; it's easy to find because it's one of the largest geometrical shapes in the night sky. Cassiopeia has a W or M shape which is easy to see and two of its end stars can be used as pointers to the constellation Andromeda. Andromeda was a princess who was rescued from a monster by Perseus in Greek mythology. The chart shown here shows the night sky for 35°N and is set for the 1st of December at 8:00 pm local, but can be used for later in the evening before that date and earlier after.

  3. Look for the distinguishing features. Pegasus is one of the easier to locate of the three, as it looks like a giant rectangle; this is the Great Square of Pegasus. Cassiopeia is even easier to locate, looking like a giant "M" or "W". Andromeda lies between them.

  4. Draw a line from the star Sirrah (also known as Alpheratz) on the edge of Pegasus and Andromeda to the star Ruchbah in Cassiopeia.

  5. Draw a line from Mirach through mu Andromedae and on through the first line. Keep in mind that mu Andromedae is dimmer than Mirach.

  6. Scan the area just to the southeast of where the lines meet, along the second line, with binoculars (or a small telescope - see next step). You'll notice an oval of faint light. This is the Andromeda Galaxy.

  7. Use a telescope for a more detailed examination. A typical 20cm (8 inch) reflector telescope will enable you to see 1,000 times further than the Andromeda Galaxy, so you should get a great view with a standard telescope. When using a telescope, and especially in light-polluted skies, also try finding Cassiopeia, then using the "M" of Cassiopeia to point toward Mirach. After positioning Mirach in the telescope, move toward Cassiopeia to find the dimmer star, then more in that direction until you come across two fainter stars and a fuzzy object that forms a triangle with these two stars. You've found the galaxy.