Latest Whirlpool Galaxy Stories
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Long before the term "citizen science" was coined, the field of astronomy has benefited from countless men and women who study the sky in their spare time.
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Astronomers have been observing the Whirlpool Galaxy since the 18th century, but they’ve never seen it like this.
Astronomers writing in The Astrophysical Journal have answered a few more important questions about how so-called spiral galaxies get their arms.
A stunning new image of the spiral galaxy Messier 77 captured by the Hubble Space Telescope was released today. The image of one of the most famous and well-studied galaxies highlights the pockets of star formation along its arms.
The NGC 5866, located in the Draco constellation, is named after the galaxy with the highest magnitude however some catalogs list NGC 5907 as the brightest member. The M51 Group and the M101 Group are NGC 5866 closest neighbor. The distances between these groups are similar which suggest the three groups are part of a single large, loose, elongated group. However, most identification methods consider them separate.
The M51 Group, located in Canes Venatici, is named after the brightest galaxy in the group, the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51A). The few other notable members include the companion galaxy to the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51B) and the Sunflower Galaxy (M63).
Whirlpool Galaxy -- Discovered 1773 by Charles Messier. The famous Whirlpool galaxy M51 was one of Charles Messier's original discoveries: He discovered it on October 13, 1773, when observing a comet, and described it as a "very faint nebula, without stars" which is difficult to see. Its companion, NGC 5195, was discovered in 1781 by his friend, Pierre Mchain, so that it is mentioned in Messier's 1784 catalog: `It is double, each has a bright center, which are separated 4'35". The two...
Sunflower Galaxy (M63) -- Discovered 1779 by Pierre Mchain. M63 was the very first discovery of a Deep Sky object by Messier's friend, Pierre Mchain, who caught it up on June 14, 1779. On the same day, Charles Messier included it in his catalog. The Sunflower galaxy M63 is one of the early recognized spiral galaxies, listed by Lord Rosse as one of 14 "spiral nebulae" discovered to 1850. It has been classified as of Hubble type Sb or Sc, displaying a patchy spiral pattern which can...
Hoag's Object -- Hoag's object is a galaxy of the type known as a ring galaxy. A nearly perfect ring of young hot blue stars circle the older yellow nucleus of this ring galaxy 600 million light-years away in the constellation Serpens. The galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is slightly larger than the Milky Way Galaxy. The gap separating the two stellar populations may contain some star clusters that are almost too faint to see. As rare as this type of galaxy is,...
- Monstrous in size or character; huge; prodigious; monstrously perverse, savage, cruel, etc.