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Whirpool Galaxy
 

 

 

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Description
English: 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.

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51 or 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.

This Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 image enables researchers to clearly define the structure of both the cold dust clouds and the hot hydrogen and link individual clusters to their parent dust clouds.

Intricate structure is also seen for the first time in the dust clouds. Along the spiral arms, dust "spurs" are seen branching out almost perpendicular to the main spiral arms. The regularity and large number of these features suggests to astronomers that previous models of "two-arm" spiral galaxies may need to be revisited. The new images also reveal a dust disk in the nucleus, which may provide fuel for a nuclear black hole.
Español: Galaxia Remolino (M51), imagen tomada por el telescopio espacial Hubble.
Date 5 April 2001(2001-04-05)
Source http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2001/10/image/a/ (direct link)
Author NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Permission
(Reusing this file)
Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA and ESA. Hubble material is copyright-free and may be freely used as in the public domain without fee, on the condition that NASA and ESA is credited as the source of the material. The material was created for NASA by Space Telescope Science Institute and for ESA by the Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre under Contract NAS5-26555. Copyright statement at hubblesite.org or copyright statement at spacetelescope.org.
Hubble 01.jpg


Licensing:
Public Domain

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