Daily Archives: April 24, 2015

The Whirlpool Galaxy, Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194


The Whirlpool Galaxy (also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194) is an interacting  grand-design  spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Recently it was estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years from the Milky Way, but different methods yield distances between 15 and 35 million ly. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars.

RA center: 202.485 degrees
DEC center: 47.211 degrees
Orientation: 98.181 degrees
Field radius: 0.221 degrees
Author: Gianluca Belgrado

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