M63: 向日葵星系



Curly Spiral Galaxy M63
Image Credit & Copyright:
Fabian Neyer, Rainer Spani
Collaboration Credit: I.D. Karachentsev, F. Neyer, R. Spani, T. Zilch

Explanation: A bright spiral galaxy of the northern sky, Messier 63 is nearby, about 30 million light-years distant toward the loyal constellation Canes Venatici. Also cataloged as NGC 5055, the majestic island universe is nearly 100,000 light-years across, about the size of our own Milky Way. Its bright core and majestic spiral arms lend the galaxy its popular name, The Sunflower Galaxy, while this exceptionally deep exposure also follows faint, arcing star streams far into the galaxy’s halo. Extending nearly 180,000 light-years from the galactic center the star streams are likely remnants of tidally disrupted satellites of M63. Other satellite galaxies of M63 can be spotted in this remarkable wide-field image, made with a small telescope, including five newly identified faint dwarf galaxies, which could contribute to M63’s star streams in the next few billion years.

Tomorrow’s picture: light-weekend

M63: 向日葵星系
Fabian Neyer, Rainer Spani
合作团队: I.D. Karachentsev, F. Neyer, R. Spani, T. Zilch

说明: 位在猎犬座方向,离我们约3千万光年远的邻近M63,是北半球天空的明亮螺旋星系之一。这个编录号为NGC 5055、跨幅将近100,000光年的壮丽宇宙岛,几乎和我们的银河系等大。在这幅极深空影像里,除了可见到为它博得向日葵星系称号的明亮的核心及宏伟的螺旋臂之外,还可见到向外晕伸展的暗淡弧形恒星流。这些伸展到离星系核心约180,000光年远的结构,可能是M63以潮汐力撕碎伴星系后,孑遗下来的恒星流。在这幅用小望远镜拍摄、但无比清晰的大视野影像里,还可见到M63的其他伴星系以及5个刚辨认出的矮星系,在接下来的数十亿年之中,它们可能也会化身为恒星流。

明日的图片: light-weekend