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Sunflower Galaxy

M63, NGC 5055

Proper NameSunflower Galaxy
Messier NumberM63
NGC/IC NumberNGC 5055
ConstellationCanes Venatici
Right Ascension13h 15m 49s
Declination+42° 1' 46"
Distancec.25,100,000 light years
c.7,700,000 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +8.5
Absolute: -21.26
DiameterApparent: 11.8'
Actual: 101,500 light years
Hubble TypeSbc Spiral
Optimum VisibilityApril / May
NotesAt least in visible light, the Sunflower Galaxy shows little obvious structure beyond a wide flat disc spiralling towards a bright central nucleus, with no central bar and no distinct arms. In infra-red, however, more detailed structure can be detected, and these wavelengths reveal a pair of distinct galactic arms spiralling outward from the galaxy's nucleus.

One of several galaxies to be found in the constellation of Canes Venatici, the Hunting Dogs. Like the more famous Whirlpool Galaxy, near which it lies in the sky, it is spiral in form.


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