When I’m creating stories with SF elements I search for inspiration in many places. One such place is the European Space Agency or ESA. It’s a good venue to find research information and fodder for story ideas.
In this view of the Andromeda Galaxy from ESA’s Herschel space observatory, cool lanes of forming stars are revealed in the finest detail yet. Andromeda, also known as M31, is the nearest major galaxy to our own Milky Way at a distance of 2.5 million light-years, making it an ideal natural laboratory to study star formation and galaxy evolution.
The image reveals some of the very coldest dust in the galaxy – only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero – red in this image.
By comparison, warmer regions such as the densely populated central bulge, home to older stars, take on a blue appearance.
Intricate structure is present throughout the 200,000 light-year-wide galaxy with star formation zones in spiral arms and at least five concentric rings, interspersed with dark gaps where stars are present.
Host to several hundred billion stars, this image of Andromeda clearly shows that many more stars will soon spark into existence.
Following is a short excerpt; something I’ve been working on lately
Karla remotely adjusted one of Starlab's telescopes and watched the screen fill with a dazzling light show. She maneuvered the controls for a wide angle.The distant spiral galaxy they were observing with its brilliant hues of color, whirling circles of light and dense arenas, came into view. Always awed by Andromeda, she sighed. If intelligent life did exist anywhere else, she just bet it would be somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy.
This came from my ESA research. Just wanted to share it with you.