ngc5194

The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51, also known as NGC 5194 or the Whirlpool Galaxy, is having a close encounter with a nearby companion galaxy, NGC 5195, just off the upper edge of this image. The companion’s gravitational pull is triggering star formation in the main galaxy, as seen in brilliant detail by numerous, luminous clusters of young and energetic stars. The bright clusters are highlighted in red by their associated emission from glowing hydrogen gas.

The Whirlpool galaxy, M51, has been one of the most photogenic galaxies in amateur and professional astronomy. Easily photographed and viewed by smaller telescopes, this celestial beauty is studied extensively in a range of wavelengths by large ground- and space-based observatories. This Hubble composite image shows visible starlight as well as light from the emission of glowing hydrogen, which is associated with the most luminous young stars in the spiral arms.

Credit: NASA/Hubble

Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy, NGC 5194 or M51, is a spiral galaxy located about 30 million light years away towards the constellation Canes Venatici. The galaxy is a grand-design spiral galaxy, with two well-defined spiral arms rather than many looser arms that some spirals have. M51′s spiral arms are areas of dense dust and gas, leading to star formation.

The smaller galaxy, NGC 5195, is slowly being devoured by the Whirlpool Galaxy. As it passes by, the gravitational interactions between the two galaxies cause spurts of star formation in the Whirlpool Galaxy. The most massive of the new stars will die quickly, becoming neutron stars or even black holes. The galaxy contains a high number of X-ray sources known as X-ray Binaries, XRB’s. These are caused by a neutron star or sometimes a black hole accreting material from a companion star. Many of the XRB’s with black holes are found near areas of star formation, and are probably connected to the impending galactic collision.

Image from National Geographic, information from Chandra and ESA.

This is #M51 interacting with #NGC5194. This #whirlpool #galaxy where the arms of the galaxy serve as star formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas. The galaxy on the left of it seems to be tugging on the arm but in fact it’s passing right behind it for and has been gliding by it for the last hundred million years. There have also been a scene of 3 #supernovae between 1994 and 2011 (may). #astronomy #space

Made with Instagram

The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and it’s Companion Galaxy

The graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 (NGC 5194) appear like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space. They are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust.

This sharpest-ever image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, taken in January 2005 with the Advanced Camera for Surveys aboard NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, illustrates a spiral galaxy’s grand design, from its curving spiral arms, where young stars reside, to its yellowish central core, a home of older stars. The galaxy is nicknamed the Whirlpool because of its swirling structure.

Credit: NASA/Hubble

flickr

M51 by Bert Mettier
Via Flickr:
L=12x10’, RGB=6x10’ Each MEADE16’’, F/7.5, PARAMOUNT ME, SBIG STXL-1100 Unterwasser, Switzerland N47°12'28 E9°18'58

Messier 51

Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, also cataloged as NGC 5194, is a spiral galaxy located about 31 million light years away towards the constellation Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs. It is about 60,000 light years across and is being affected by gravitational interactions with NGC 5195, its companion galaxy.

Notable in M51 are its two prominent spiral arms, a characteristic of grand design spiral galaxies. These are important regions of star formation, where hydrogen clouds collapse into new star clusters. It is possible that the arms of M51 are emphasized by its interactions with NGC 5195. As the smaller galaxy passes behind M51, its gravity sends waves through M51’s disk, compressing gas clouds and triggering star formation.

Image from NASA, information from ESA.

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool galaxy, M51, has been one of the most photogenic galaxies in amateur and professional astronomy. Easily photographed and viewed by smaller telescopes, this celestial beauty is studied extensively in a range of wavelengths by large ground- and space-based observatories. This Hubble composite image shows visible starlight as well as light from the emission of glowing hydrogen, which is associated with the most luminous young stars in the spiral arms.

M51, also known as NGC 5194, is having a close encounter with a nearby companion galaxy, NGC 5195, just off the upper edge of this image. The companion’s gravitational pull is triggering star formation in the main galaxy, as seen in brilliant detail by numerous, luminous clusters of young and energetic stars. The bright clusters are highlighted in red by their associated emission from glowing hydrogen gas.

Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)