Apple deleted a galaxy

David Kaplan, assistant professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, sent me this gif, showing the differences between an image of the Andromeda Galaxy produced by astrophotographer Robert Gendler, and the image of the Andromeda Galaxy that serves as the default desktop wallpaper in Apple's OS 10.7 (Lion).

Apple has once again altered the Universe according to their whim. They moved/removed many stars, and got rid of a whole galaxy. This is M110, which is one of M31's [Andromeda's] satellites. The other big satellite, M32, is still there.

Kaplan says he hasn't looked lately, so he can't guarantee that galaxy M110 hasn't actually vanished from the sky. But he's pretty sure it's only really been lost to Photoshop.


  1. Apple’s clean design policy is universal.  And they’re richer than FSM, so they can do whatever they want.

  2. I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. Oh, NM, it’s just Apple.

  3. Given their lawsuits against Samsung I’m sure this isn’t the only Galaxy they’d like to delete.. 

    1. You don’t need a functioning two buttoned mouse, and you don’t need that galaxy either.

      That was the Windows 7 galaxy filled with malware.  It was ugly and useless anyway.  Deleted for the good of all.

      [cow pokes joe with magic stick]

  4. Go to the center of gravity’s pull and find the galaxy you will.

    This shows how Apple is worse than the Sith. The Sith deleted only a planet from the Jedi archives, not an entire galaxy.

  5. Those jerks in M110 airbrushed our sun out of all their photos of this galaxy.  So it’s only fair.

  6. Also, they colored the “atmosphere” around the galaxy blue. Then highlighted some dust lanes, and smudged out others. Even looks like the perspective changed slightly!

    Almost as if it’s intended to be a piece of art, rather than an accurate depiction of reality.

    1. actually, it is blue. gendler’s picture referenced is not ‘deep’ enough to expose it. check out more images of M31 on flickr or google image search and you will see it.

    2. … or they took the photograph from the other side of the galaxy, where M110 is obscured by the dust lanes.

      One more thing… faster-than-light-interstellar travel – BOOM!

    3. Almost as if it’s intended to be a piece of art, rather than an accurate depiction of reality.

      Yeah, like Jesus on a dinosaur.

  7. They HAD to delete M110; that’s where Steve Jobs’ home planet is, and they have privacy laws.

    1. I knew the minute this was posted that within a few hours we’d have some people genuinely angry about this.

  8. That was the galaxy filled with Apple detractors that used to keep saying it was, uh… fruitless… for me use Apple products because they were definitely going out of business.


    1. Yet another jealous Windows user climbing into a thread about Apple and using the term “fan boy” in 3… 2… too late

  9. “Let’s keep this in perspective – its only an image and not the actual galaxy.”

    “Comments like this only go to show how ignorant of things you actually are.”

    Wow.  Maybe M110 was sucked into our own galaxy due to the density of comments like this.  That enormous wooshing noise we heard was the galaxy collapsing into a singularity just after the jokes flew over Irks and Merlin’s heads.

    1. After 6 years, is it really still a joke? Had the original comment been “You don’t need BluRay” or “You don’t need user serviceable parts” then I’d have let it slip as fair comment. This joking about something that was fixed six years ago just seems lazy.

      Now I’m going to go have a sandwich.

  10. In all fairness, it’s not like Apple is claiming their desktop wallpaper to be anything other than a piece of artwork, and there’s no requirement on art to represent the truth. Complaining about this is like complaining that heads in Picasso paintings shouldn’t have two eyes on one side of the face because it’s anatomically incorrect. If this was part of some “iSpace” app then yes, it’d be wrong. In this case, you’re just being silly.

  11. This reminds me of an incident of scientific photoshopping that actually bothered me.  I used to work for a scientific journal, and they used images taken directly from one of the articles for the cover of each issue.  Naturally, they often took one that was visually impressive, not necessarily one showing the most significant result from the most important article.  But on occasion, they essentially photoshopped data (especially background data and stray outliers) out of the images to make them look cleaner and prettier.  The argument presented to me was, “Well, it’s just the cover, it’s not the actual article. It doesn’t have to convey correct information, just look good.”  Still made me feel uneasy, though.

  12. Editing of this type, removing galaxies and so on, promotes unrealistic body images for universes, the effects of which can be devastating.

    1. This is bad news for people who expect their desktop wallpaper image to accurately reflect the universe.

      Change your universe.  Not that big of a deal.

  13. You are getting it all wrong, we now have proof there is life in the universe. When M110 saw that they would be on an Apple machine, they activated cloaking. 


  14. You can get the stars who disappeared back by downloading the App from the Apple store, Apple has patent on the stars, so the app will cost you $1  

  15. If Steve doesn’t like it….. Nobody should like it… Everybody else is just looking wrong at it.

  16. M110 will disappear anyway… It’s just a matter of time… Look at adobe flash player….

  17. Are you telling me there’s all this hoohah over something that’s just meant to look pretty?  Am I missing something here?

    That is why the internet is in flames and bloggers are being hanged from lampposts, yes.

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