Hubble appears into the center of the Whirlpool Galaxy – Astronomy Now

February 18, 2019 - Comment

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also called Messier 51 or M51, is acquainted to legions of novice astronomers, a face on spiral gravitationally interacting with a smaller close by galaxy. On clear, moonless nights, M51’s spiral form could be discerned in comparatively modest novice devices, a dim, ghostly physique close to the brilliant star Alkaid on the


The Whirlpool Galaxy, also called Messier 51 or M51, is acquainted to legions of novice astronomers, a face on spiral gravitationally interacting with a smaller close by galaxy. On clear, moonless nights, M51’s spiral form could be discerned in comparatively modest novice devices, a dim, ghostly physique close to the brilliant star Alkaid on the finish of the Large Dipper’s deal with. However via the Hubble Area Telescope, M51 is revealed in all of its jaw dropping splendour, an impressive swirl of tightly-wound spiral arms, glowing areas of star formation and numerous clusters. Gravitational interactions with the companion galaxy, not seen on this picture of the Whirlpool’s coronary heart, set off star formation throughout M51 as seen right here in vibrant clusters of energetic younger stars highlighted in purple. Additionally seen are quite a few mud “spurs” extending away from the spiral arms in close to perpendicular vogue. The origin and evolution of the spurs will not be but understood.

The guts of the Whirlpool Galaxy as imaged by the Hubble Area Telescope. Picture: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and the Hubble Heritage Group (STScI/AURA)



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