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M51, Whirlpool Galaxy

[M51, Whirlpool Galaxy]

About this image

The spiral galaxy M51, (the Whirlpool Galaxy) observed with the ODI camera on the WIYN telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, May 2013. Even though the galaxy is almost 30 million light years away, the image clearly shows clusters of young, hot stars that light up the spiral arms. Threaded through the arms are dark “dust lanes”, where sooty material left over from previous generations of stars has settled. More dust lanes can be seen in the bridge of luminous stars and gas that connects Messier 51 to its companion, the peculiar galaxy NGC 5195, in the upper part of the image. For more details, and an alternate version of this image, see NOAO press release 1309.

More: galaxies page, messier page, WIYN galaxies page, WIYN messier page.


Minimum credit line: K. Rhode, M. Young and WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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