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Pinwheel Galaxy

Pinwheel Galaxy

R862/0014

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Credit

J-C CUILLANDRE / CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-C CUILLANDRE / CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Pinwheel Galaxy. Optical image of the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101, NGC 5457), a large spiral galaxy. It is unusual in that its core (nucleus) is not positioned centrally within the disc, instead being nearer the top in this view. The nucleus contains mainly yellower, older stars than the arms. The arms appear bluer as they contain younger stars, and numerous pink starbirth regions are seen within them. The Pinwheel Galaxy lies around 27 million light years away in the constellation Ursa Major. It is one of the largest spiral galaxies known, being over 170,000 light years across.

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