The Whale Galaxy

The Whale Galaxy (NGC4631) is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. This galaxy’s slightly distorted wedge shape, gives it the appearance of a whale, hence its nickname. The resemblance is further confirmed by the appearance of a satellite galaxy (NGC4627) that gives impression of a cub whale accompanying the mother.

Because this nearby galaxy is seen edge-on from Earth, you don’t see the spiral arms here, even though they do encircle the core.

This galaxy lies only 25 million light-years away in the northern constellation Canes Venatici. It is similar in size to our own Milky Way. In this color image, the galaxy’s yellowish core, dark dust clouds, bright blue star clusters, and red star forming regions are easy to spot.

The galaxy has a diameter of 60,000 light years and has about 400 billion stars.
I took this image over 12.4 hours. (22 Luminance images of 20 minutes each and 10 images each of 3 colors of 10 minutes each). I had to crop this image by about 20 %.

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