Sunflower Galaxy – M63

A bright spiral galaxy of the northern sky, M63 is about 25 million light-years distant in the constellation Canes Venatici. Also cataloged as NGC 5055, the majestic island universe is nearly 100,000 light-years across. That’s about the size of our own Milky Way Galaxy. Known by the popular moniker, The Sunflower Galaxy, M63 sports a bright yellowish core. Its 2 blue spiral arms are tightly wounded and are streaked with dust lanes and dotted with pink nebulae, it’s star forming regions. Therefore, this galaxy is considered to be of the type called a “flocculent spiral”. Unlike grand-design spiral galaxies, flocculent spiral galaxies do not have well defined spiral arms. Instead, they appear to have many discontinuous arms.

See this page from NASA for a close-up picture from Hubble Telescope and more information.

Taken over 18 hours (40 images of 20 minutes each & 11,11,11 RGB images of 10 minutes each) at 75 times magnification and cropped by about 1/3rd.


Leave a Reply