Section of M51 with Progenitor Star

This ESO/NASA Hubble Space Telescope picture shows M 51, an interacting spiral galaxy, which is also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. It is located about 25 Million light years away from Earth, but can still easily observed with a small telescope by amateur astronomers.

M 51 is also a popular object among professional astronomers as it shows an ongoing enhanced star formation rate, which is probably caused by the interaction with its companion galaxy (not visible on the picture).

The galaxy was also the location of two supernovae within the last couple of years: The first one appeared in 2005, the second one in 2011.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, W. Li and A. Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley), S. Beckwith (STScI), and The Hubble Heritage Team STScI/AURA)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0521b
Type:Observation
Release date:28 July 2005, 20:00
Size:1800 x 1800 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS 13277+4727, M 51, Messier 51, NGC 5194, Whirlpool Galaxy
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
• X - Stars Images/Videos
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
• X - Cosmology Images/Videos
Distance:25 million light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
(H-alpha+NII)
658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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1.7 MB
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1600x1200
1.1 MB

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