September 13, 2015

Look: Incredible picture of Sunflower Galaxy from Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has recently produced a stunning view of the famous galaxy Messier 63, also known as the Sunflower Galaxy.
The new image, which has been made public by NASA last Friday, shows the intricate makeup of the spiral galaxy.
The image was captured by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.
“The arrangement of the spiral arms in the galaxy Messier 63, seen in the image from the Hubble, recall the pattern at the center of a sunflower. So the nickname for this cosmic object - the Sunflower Galaxy - is no coincidence,”writes NASA in its official website.
Discovered by French astronomer Pierre Mechain in 1779, the galaxy later made it as the 63rd entry into fellow astronomer Charles Messier’s famous catalogue, published in 1781.
The two astronomers spotted the Sunflower Galaxy’s glow in the small, northern constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs).
Messier 63 (M63, NGC 5055) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici consisting of a central disc surrounded by many short spiral arm segments.
The distant 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.
The Hubble Space Telescope, designed and built by NASA and ESA researchers, has made some of the most dramatic discoveries in the history of astronomy.
Since its launch in 1990, Hubble has helped further our understanding of the near and distant cosmos, delivering a number of breathtaking data to scientists.

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