Interesting Facts About Whirlpool Galaxy

Interesting Facts About Whirlpool Galaxy
Interesting Facts About Whirlpool Galaxy

As we know, the Milky Way galaxy is not the only galaxy in the universe. In this universe there are lots of galaxies ranging from oddly shaped to galaxies that can produce their own stars, galaxies in this universe also have a lot of one of the galaxies that is very interesting to discuss, namely the whirlpool galaxy.

What is a Whirlpool Galaxy? What does the Whirlpool galaxy look like? Where is the Whirlpool Galaxy located? And can the Whirlpool Galaxy be seen from Earth?

Smaller Than the Milky Way

This galaxy was first discovered by Charles Messier in 1773. The Whirlpool Galaxy itself has a size smaller than the Milky Way, which is only about 35%.

Whirlpool, Milky Way Neighboring Galaxy

If you like observing stars in the sky, you must have heard about this galaxy a lot? This galaxy is indeed quite close to our galaxy, the Milky Way. About 23 billion light years away. Because of this relatively close distance, these galaxies often appear in Earth's sky.

Unique Shapes, Like Whirlpools

What makes the Whirl Pool galaxy interesting is that it looks very much like a whirlpool. Because of this shape, Charles Messier who is the discoverer of this galaxy was confused, because at first glance he looks like a comet. It was the first galaxy to fall into the spiral galaxy category because of its elliptical shape.

There's a Star Birth Explosion in the Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy is one of those galaxies that is actively creating stars. Even now there are still star birth explosions there.

The Whirlpool Galaxy is adjacent to a small galaxy called M51b. The two galaxies are so close together, there is frequent friction between the two galaxies, which causes the outer edge of the Whirlpool galaxy to be distorted from its orbit. This is what causes the explosion that produces new stars.

There is a Black Hole at the Center of the Whirlpool Galaxy and it's still active

It's actually not something unusual if there is a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. In this galaxy there is a super large black hole that is still active at its center. This is why the Whirlpool galaxy shines so brightly at its center and emits a strong infrared spectrum.

Included in the Active Galaxy

Because it has an active nucleus, the Whirlpool galaxy is included in the "Seyfert Galaxy" category, which is the largest group of galaxies in the active universe. Where this category is also owned by Quasar stars.

Easy to See From Earth

One of the features of the Whirlpool galaxy is that it is easily visible from Earth. This galaxy will be very bright in dark skies from March to May, in Earth's northern sky. Astronomers often use it as an object to study galaxies in greater depth, because the entire galactic surface is clearly visible from Earth.

Even if you don't have a sophisticated telescope, you can see this galaxy with just binoculars! The interaction of whirlpools with surrounding dwarf galaxies is also an interesting phenomenon for scientists studying outer space. How about you, are you also interested in this galaxy?


Well, this Whirlpool galaxy is very interesting, besides being active, the Whirlpool galaxy is also very easy to see from Earth because of its relatively close distance to Earth.

The universe and everything in it is always interesting to study. Humans never stop inventing technology so that they can find out what celestial bodies are out there. Space exploration will continue to develop in the future.

Read Also: Interesting Facts about Titan, Saturn's Largest Moon

Do you think it is worthwhile studying the universe like this? And do you know of other, more interesting galaxies?

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