A Galáxia Whirlpool (M51A ou NGC 5194) e (M51B ou NGC 5195, à esquerda). A Galáxia Whirlpool é uma grande-projeto galáxia espiral, interagindo com NGC 5195, uma galxy dwarg. Ambas as galáxias estão localizados 23 ± 4 milhões de anos-luz em Canes Venatici.
A composite image of M51, called the Whirlpool Galaxy, 30 million light years from Earth and 60 thousand light years across. The original images were taken with a telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the Hubble Space Telescope. (Photo: NASA via The Telegraph)
Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dipper's bowl until you get to the handle's last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Copyright: Marco Burali, Tiziano Capecchi, Marco Mancini (Osservatorio MTM)
WHEN GALAXIES COLLIDE The Whirlpool Galaxy, the red spiral, and its companion galaxy, NG 5195 are 23 million light-years from Earth - that's relatively close. IRAC shows the warm dust in red, a sign of active star formation probably triggered by a collision between the two galaxies.