Hubble Image of the Week – The Sunflower Galaxy (Messier 63)

Hubble Views the Sunflower Galaxy

Messier 63 is about 27 million light-years away in the small, northern constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs). Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This newly released Hubble image shows spiral galaxy Messier 63, which is also known as the Sunflower Galaxy.

The arrangement of the spiral arms in the galaxy Messier 63, seen here in a new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, recall the pattern at the center of a sunflower. So the nickname for this cosmic object — the Sunflower Galaxy — is no coincidence.

Discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1779, the galaxy later made it as the 63rd entry into fellow French astronomer Charles Messier’s famous catalog, published in 1781. The two astronomers spotted the Sunflower Galaxy’s glow in the small, northern constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs). We now know this galaxy is about 27 million light-years away and belongs to the M51 Group — a group of galaxies, named after its brightest member, Messier 51, another spiral-shaped galaxy dubbed the Whirlpool Galaxy.

Galactic arms, sunflowers and whirlpools are only a few examples of nature’s apparent preference for spirals. For galaxies like Messier 63 the winding arms shine bright because of the presence of recently formed, blue–white giant stars, readily seen in this Hubble image.


5 Comments on "Hubble Image of the Week – The Sunflower Galaxy (Messier 63)"

  1. They are all fake. CGI.

    • Gosh, you are brilliant!

    • Crop circles in the sky?

    • Clearly you are a stupid idiot!!! Why would it be fake, you don’t believe in Telescopes and such. Plus all objects taken are known as far as location in the sky and any other major telescope could take pictures to verify so would be stupid to fake.

    • Yes they are all fake. Space walks are done underwater, and that’s how you know for a fact that the Hubble Space Telescope doesn’t actually exist. NASA is complete fraud and lies. Learn about Freemasons that are used to lie to you every day, and learn of the Jesuit order who control the world governments.

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