Man's Incredible Picture of the Andromeda Galaxy Wows Internet: 'Stunning'

An incredible picture of the Andromeda Galaxy has captured viral attention online after it was shared by an amateur photographer.

Brennan Gilmore, who lives in Cismont, Virginia, shared the picture on Reddit on Wednesday with the caption: "After two years of trying, finally took a pic of the Andromeda Galaxy I'm proud of."

With over 70,000 upvotes, the picture has amazed internet users who flooded to the comments to praise the photography.

Andromeda Galaxy by Brennan Gilmore
A picture of the Andromeda Galaxy taken by Brennan Gilmore. The picture has amazed the internet, receiving thousands of upvotes on Reddit. brennangilmorephoto/Instagram

Gilmore told Newsweek: "I started astrophotography in July 2020 during the pandemic lockdown, photographing the beautiful Comet Neowise as it passed by the Earth. Astrophotography was a great way to spend the evenings stuck at home and I fell in love with the hobby."

Sharing his pictures on Instagram using the handle brennangilmorephoto, Gilmore's photos vary from shots of Orion to incredible snaps of a lunar eclipse.

The Andromeda Galaxy is our closest spiral galactic neighbor. Over 2 million light-years away, to the unaided eye, the galaxy will appear as a milky blur.

Records of the galaxy can be found as early as 964 CE in the Book of the Fixed Stars by the Islamic astronomer al-Ṣūfī, and it was rediscovered in 1612, shortly after the invention of the telescope by the German astronomer Simon Marius. For years it was believed that Andromeda was part of our own Milky Way, but in 1923, Edwin Hubble's research concluded that what was once called the Andromeda Nebula was a galaxy in its own right.

The Andromeda Galaxy is estimated to contain approximately 1 trillion stars and stretches more than 200,000 light-years in diameter.

On Reddit, Gilmore shared that his picture featured roughly 24 million pixels.

Overwhelmed by the incredible picture, Reddit users flooded to the comments to share their thoughts.

"Stunning," wrote one user, while another said: "I'm going to have to get out there and take a look at this once these clouds clear up. Amazing work!"

"That's beautiful," wrote one Redditor before joking: "Space is the only thing that ignites in me an existential crisis—with the exception of my ex-mother-in-law."

"This is amazing. We are so small," said another comment.

"I think there's an innate sense of connection to the cosmic reflected in people's response—after all the atoms in our bodies, food, smartphones, come from the stars. Astrophotography furthers that connection," said Gilmore. "While it can seem like magic to reveal a breathtaking galaxy from a seemingly featureless night sky, with today's technology the hobby is as accessible as it has ever been."

One Redditor wrote that they had followed Gilmore, stating: "This is the content I need in my life."

Far from being finished with exploring the stars, Gilmore is looking forward to taking more pictures soon: "At the end of the month, my fiancée and I are traveling to Big Bend National Park in Texas—the national park with the darkest skies in the United States. I'm looking forward to shooting landscapes with the Milky Way under skies devoid of light pollution.

"I love to create images that marry the cosmic with the terrestrial and show people as well, so I'm hoping to convince her to stay up late to pose for some."