Our galactic neighbor, seen as never before

Science fans and Internet junkies no doubt have been caught glimpses of the latest set of images from NASA's astonishingly far-sighted WISE (Wide Infrared Survey Explorer) mission. 

Here's my personal fave: our closest galactic neighbor, Andromeda. Although about 2.5 million light years from our sun, this galaxy is actually bigger than the Milky Way, experts say. This is a reconstruction for our eyes from infrared data, with mature stars in blue, and young stars in red and yellow. 

NASA was so smart — is so smart — to put its chips on unmanned missions and high technology. Sending men into orbit around the earth or even to the moon to show we can do it is all but pointless these days. 

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