Galaxy Andromeda

Hot stars (no, not the ones in Hollywood) burn brightly in this image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, showing the UV side of our closest galactic neighbor.

At only 2.5 million light-years away, the Andromeda galaxy spans 260,000 light-years across -- a distance so large, it took 11 different image segments stitched together to produce this view of the galaxy next door.

The bands of blue and white harbor hot, young, massive stars. The yellow-white center of the galaxy reveal a congregation of older and much cooler stars that formed a long long time ago.

Depending on how this image is displayed, it can give a magical glow at different times of the day. Proper gallery-style lighting is highly recommended for all our images, especially this top 10 beauty!