ADAM BLOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM BLOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sunflower galaxy (M63), optical image. The Sunflower galaxy gets its name from its spiral arms which are said to resemble a sunflower. Within these arms are red regions of star birth, where radiation from young stars ionises hydrogen gas and causes it to glow. They also contains blue areas of reflected starlight from dust clouds. Dark dust clouds are also silhouetted against the bright regions behind. This galaxy is one of several within the M51 Group, a cluster of galaxies named after the brightest one (M51A). M63 lies about 35 million light years from Earth, in the constellation Canes Venatici.
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