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The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy


Depicts: M51, NGC 5194, The Whirlpool Galaxy, IRAS 13277+4727
Copyright: Nino Panagia (Space Telescope Science Institute and European Space Agency) and NASA

The galaxy's massive center, the bright ball of light in the center of the photograph, is about 80 light-years across and has a brightness of about 100 million suns.

Astronomers estimate that it is about 400 million years old and has a mass 40 million times larger than our Sun.

The concentration of stars is about 5,000 times higher than in our solar neighborhood, the Milky Way Galaxy. We would see a continuously bright sky if we lived near the bright center.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
4-Oct-2022 19:51 UT

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