Messier 61 looks straight into Hubble's camera

Jun 21, 2013
Credit: NASA/ESA

(Phys.org) —The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this image of nearby spiral galaxy Messier 61, also known as NGC 4303. The galaxy, located only 55 million light-years away from Earth, is roughly the size of the Milky Way, with a diameter of around 100 000 light-years.

The galaxy is notable for one particular reason—six supernovae have been observed within Messier 61, a total that places it in the top handful of galaxies alongside Messier 83, also with six, and NGC 6946, with a grand total of nine observed supernovae.

In this Hubble image the galaxy is seen face-on as if posing for a photograph, allowing us to study its structure closely. The can be seen in stunning detail, swirling inwards to the very center of the galaxy, where they form a smaller, intensely bright spiral. In the outer regions, these vast arms are sprinkled with bright blue regions where new stars are being formed from hot, dense clouds of gas.

Messier 61 is part of the Virgo Galaxy Cluster, a massive group of galaxies in the constellation of Virgo (the Virgin). , or groups of galaxies, are among the biggest structures in the Universe to be held together by gravity alone. The Virgo Cluster contains more than 1300 galaxies and forms the central region of the Local Supercluster, an even bigger gathering of galaxies.

The image was taken using data from Hubble's 2.

Explore further: Fermi finds a 'transformer' pulsar

Related Stories

Hubble spots galaxies in close encounter

Jun 20, 2013

(Phys.org) —The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced this vivid image of a pair of interacting galaxies known as Arp 142. When two galaxies stray too close to each other they begin to interact, ...

Hubble observes the hidden depths of Messier 77

Mar 28, 2013

(Phys.org) —The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured this vivid image of spiral galaxy Messier 77, one of the most famous and well-studied galaxies in the sky. The patches of red across this image ...

Image: Hubble sees a swirl of star formation

May 27, 2013

(Phys.org) —This beautiful, glittering swirl is named, rather un-poetically, J125013.50+073441.5. A glowing haze of material seems to engulf the galaxy, stretching out into space in different directions ...

Hubble image of galaxies' El Dorado

Mar 12, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has produced this beautiful image of the galaxy NGC 1483. NGC 1483 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the southern constellation of Dorado — the dolphinfish ...

Hubble spots a colorful lenticular galaxy

Nov 12, 2012

(Phys.org)—The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a beautiful galaxy that, with its reddish and yellow central area, looks rather like an explosion from a Hollywood movie. The galaxy, called NGC ...

A family portrait of galaxies

Sep 06, 2012

(Phys.org)—Two very different galaxies feature in this family portrait taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, together forming a peculiar galaxy pair called Arp 116. The image shows the dramatic ...

Recommended for you

Lives and deaths of sibling stars

5 hours ago

This beautiful star cluster, NGC 3293, is found 8000 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Carina (The Keel). This cluster was first spotted by the French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in ...

Fermi finds a 'transformer' pulsar

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —In late June 2013, an exceptional binary containing a rapidly spinning neutron star underwent a dramatic change in behavior never before observed. The pulsar's radio beacon vanished, while at ...

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

The Singularity
not rated yet Jun 22, 2013
"Only" 55 million light years? Hardly a term that should be used to describe a massive distance.
GSwift7
5 / 5 (1) Jun 24, 2013
for saying that the electric and magnetic field vectors in an EM wave were orthogonal.


That's what I was thinking too, but it's only about 5% as far as some of the things we can see.

The Virgo Cluster contains more than 1300 galaxies


That's a bit staggering. Espcially when you consider that travel between any two galaxies is virtually impossible. Even with travel at the speed of light, I cannot imagine a power supply that you could keep running for millions of years. Even a tiny % of waste heat would eventually drain your ship. Maybe if you freeze the entire ship and let it coast as a ghost ship, then fire it back up a couple million years later? I would guess you'd still have trouble with molecular migrations and such in the materials of your ship, and erosion from the intergalactic medium.
vidyunmaya
1 / 5 (5) Jun 24, 2013
Sub: Heart and Center of Universe around 100,00 LY beyond milky Way
Information: Virgo Galaxy Cluster region at 55 M LY. six supernovae Messier 61,Messier 83, also with six, and NGC 6946, with nine observed supernovae.
Notes from Cosmology Vedas interlinks
Heart of the Universe is expected to be a flower mode region -12 and multiples thereof - supernovae sustain the cosmic function of the Universe.
Big-bang self contradictions and spiral mode Black-hole concepts need revision . space Data reveals itself to Knowledge bese.
CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE-HEART OF THE UNIVERSE-Nov 2006 - TXU 1-364-245 -The Science in Philosophy- Pridhvi Viswam Asya Dharineem Cosmos yoga vision series-II- cover upto 10^5 L Y and beyond for Expansion-see other books-Update 17 Books