robotslendahand t1_jalas7h wrote

When we see Andromeda with the naked eye we're just seeing it's bright nucleus. That's why it looks like a a star. If it were fully visible it would look like this. We could see it and it would be big and cool. But, unfortunately, things in space are actually very dim and if we were in a more densely packed corner of the universe we'd have the same problem most of the time. Even the Milky Way, which is huge and we live inside of, is only visible in dark areas away from cities.

In the Southern Hemisphere you can see with the unaided eye the Milky Way's satellite galaxies, the Small & Large Megellanic Clouds.