M64, The Blackeye Galaxy

M64, The Blackeye Galaxy

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Credit: GERARD LODRIGUSS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: M64 is the famous Blackeye Galaxy in Coma Berenices. It is also sometimes called the Sleeping Beauty Galaxy. Its most prominent feature is a dark dust lane on the northern side of the center of the galaxy, giving it the appearance of a black eye. This area is choked with dust and is a star-forming region. M64 is an Sa-b type spiral galaxy. Although all of the stars rotate in the same direction in the galaxy, with the spiral arms trailing, the galaxy seems to have two disks of gas that are rotating in opposite directions. The inner one around the core of the galaxy is about 6,000 light years in diameter. The outer disk of gas extends out about 40,000 light years. It is thought that the counterrotating disk may be the remnants of another galaxy

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Keywords: astronomy, blackeye galaxy, galaxy, m64, messier 64, sleeping beauty galaxy, star

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