The Andromeda Galaxy /ænˈdrɒmɨdə/ is a spiral galaxy approximately 780 kiloparsecs (2.5 million light-years; 2.4×1019 km) from Earth in the Andromeda constellation. Also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, it is often referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula in older texts. The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest spiral galaxy to ourMilky Way galaxy, but not the nearest galaxy overall. It gets its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, theconstellation of Andromeda, which was named after the mythological princess Andromeda. The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 44 other smaller galaxies.