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Whirlpool Galaxy

Whirlpool Galaxy

R854/0052

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Credit

JASON WARE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JASON WARE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Whirlpool Galaxy. Optical image of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51, NGC 5194) and its companion NGC 5195 (top). These interacting galaxies are about 20 million light years away in the constellation Canes Venatici. M51 has a diameter of around 65,000 light years and a mass of about 50,000 million solar masses, about half the mass and size of the Milky Way. The colours show the age of the stars in the galaxies. The nuclei contain mainly older, yellower stars, while the spiral arms have younger, hot, blue stars. The galaxies are linked by a thin bridge of gas and dust which NGC 5195 is pulling from the larger galaxy by gravitational attraction. Image taken by a Meade 16" telescope.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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