M51 – The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 (NGC 5194) is a beautiful spiral galaxy, some 37 million light years from Earth. The picture below is one that I took in the early hours of 19th July.

M51 Click to see more ...

Click on the image to see a close-up and more details.

Located in Canes Venatici, M51 is seen here with its companion galaxy NGC 5195. The two are in close proximity, an area of star birth being formed in M51 by the gravity of NGC 5195. The Hubble Space Telescope has been studying this pair in some detail; amongst various discoveries, is that of a central dust disk that may power a black hole.

See later post for much improved image.

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