Please login in order to download photos in full size
If you are not registered, please register for free: www.Free-Photos.biz/register
Please note to download premium images you also need to join as a free member..
You can also save the photos without the registration - but only in small and average sizes, and some of them will have the site's watermark. Please simply click your right mouse button and save the image.
Please login in order to like photos
If you are not registered, please register for free:
Sorry, non-members can download up to 100 full-size photos per month.
It looks like you have used up your limit.
Free members can download an unlimited number of full-size photos - including the premium free photos.
Join as a member today for FREE! - and download the images without limitations:
You can also save the images without the membership - but only in small and average sizes, and some of them may have the site's watermark. Please simply click your right mouse button and save the image.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has captured these infrared images of the "Whirlpool Galaxy," revealing strange structures bridging the gaps between the dust-rich spiral arms, and tracing the dust, gas and stellar populations in both the bright spiral galaxy and its companion.
The Spitzer image is a four-color composite of invisible light, showing emissions from wavelengths of 3.6 microns (blue), 4.5 microns (green), 5.8 microns (orange) and 8.0 microns (red). These wavelengths are roughly 10 times longer than those seen by the human eye.
The visible light image comes from the Kitt Peak National Observatory 2.1m telescope, and has the same orientation and size as the Spitzer infrared image, measuring 9.9 by 13.7 arcminutes (north up). Also a four-color composite, the visible light image shows emissions from 0.4 to 0.7 microns, including the H-alpha nebular feature (red in the image).
The light seen in the images originates from very different sources. At shorter wavelengths (in the visible bands, and in the infrared from 3.6 to 4.5 microns), the light comes mainly from stars. This starlight fades at longer wavelengths (5.8 to 8.0 microns), where we see the glow from clouds of interstellar dust. This dust consists mainly of a variety of carbon-based organic molecules known collectively as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Wherever these compounds are found, there will also be dust granules and gas, which provide a reservoir of raw materials for future star formation.
Particularly puzzling are the large number of thin filaments of red emission seen in the infrared data between the arms of the large spiral galaxy. In contrast to the beady nature of the dust emission seen in the arms themselves, these spoke-like features are thin and regular, and prevalent in the gaps all over the face of the galaxy.
Also of interest is the contrast in the distributions of dust and stars between the spiral and its faint companion. While the spiral is rich in dust, bright in the longer infrared wavebands, and actively forming new stars, its blue companion shows little infrared emission and hosts an older stellar population. The spectacular whirlpool structure and star formation in M51 are thought to be triggered by an ongoing collision with its companion. Understanding the impact on star formation by the interaction of galaxies is one of the goals of these observations.
The targeted galaxy is known by various names: M51 from its Messier catalog designation, and also as NGC 5194. M51 was one of the original discoveries of Charles Messier, found in October 1773 while he was observing a faint comet. The Messier catalogue of galaxies is named after him. Colloquially, M51 is also known as the "Whirlpool Galaxy", or "Rosse's Galaxy," after Lord Rosse, who first detected galaxy spiral structure in his observations of M51. The companion, NGC 5195, was discovered in 1781 by Pierre Mechain.
The Whirlpool galaxy is a favorite target for amateur and professional astronomers, alike, and was the first light target for the Infrared Space Observatory. Found in the constellation Canes Venatici, M51 is 37 million light-years away.
The Spitzer observations of M51 are part of a large 500-hour science project, known as the Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxy Survey, which will comprehensively study 75 nearby galaxies with infrared imaging and spectroscopy. From these data, astronomers will probe the physical processes connecting star formation to the properties of galaxies. This information will provide a vital foundation of data, diagnostic tools, and astrophysical inputs for understanding the distant universe, ultraluminous galaxies, and the formation and evolution of galaxies.
|Description||First Peek at Spitzer's Legacy: Mysterious Whirlpool Galaxy|
|Author||NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Kennicutt (Univ. of Arizona)/DSS|
(Reusing this file)
see http://gallery.spitzer.caltech.edu/Imagegallery/image.php?image_name=ssc2004-19a High quality tif files also avaliable.
|This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
|Orientation of image||1|
|Image resolution in width direction||300/1|
|Image resolution in height direction||300/1|
|Unit of X and Y resolution||2|
|Color space information||1|
|Exif image width||3000|
|Exif image length||2400|
|Software used||Adobe Photoshop 7.0|
All photos in average size can be saved by everyone without registration (by right-clicking) - and all photos can be downloaded in full-size and without the big watermark by members (by left-clicking) (registration and free membership required).
While the copyright and licensing information supplied for each photo is believed to be accurate, Free-Photos.biz does not provide any warranty regarding the copyright status or correctness of licensing terms. If you decide to reuse the images from Free-Photos.biz, you should verify the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources.
The use of depictions of living or deceased persons may be restricted in some jurisdictions by laws regarding personality rights. Such images are exhibited at Free-Photos.biz as works of art that serve higher artistic interests.