Whirlpool Galaxy: A wonder of stars in space


In past, we can only see the sun, the moon, and stars. The advancements in science took place and made people able to see and study the solar system. Further developments made scientists able to study the Milky Way Galaxy. Science is getting advance with time and is finding its way in space step by step. Space is full of different wonders. At present, scientists have found one such wonder named as Whirlpool Galaxy.

Whirlpool Galaxy, a wonder of nature, consists of stars. Astronomers officially named Whirlpool Galaxy as NGC 5194 and M51. Space Telescope Science Institute performs science operations for the Hubble Space Telescope, has made a new video about Whirlpool Galaxy which shows that it is based on the formation and death of stars. The video has 3 minutes series of different photos which show the stunning visual wavelength view of the Whirlpool Galaxy. Images show a supernova rich zone which lies almost 30 million light years from the Earth. Whirlpool Galaxy is present in the northern constellation Canes Venatici.

Whirlpool Galaxy NASA Space Telescopes
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Credit: Visualization: F. Summers, J. DePaxquale, D. Player (STScI), K. Arcand (SAO/CXC), R. Hurt (Caltech/IPAC); Music: “Cylinder Five,” Chirs Zabriskie, CC BY 4.0

In the video, Hubble officials state that this galaxy is the striking example of a spiral galaxy. After observations scientists state that Whirlpool Galaxy shows different structures at different wavelengths. In addition to this, a 3-dimensional study was also carried out which shows that the spiral arms of the galaxy whirl through the pancake-shaped disk. Astronomers observe the galaxy in visible through Hubble Telescope, infrared light through Spitzer Space Telescope and X-rays trough Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

Invisible light scientists observe stars of younger and older age. Younger (blue) stars are present in the spiral arm of the galaxy. While older (yellow) stars are clustered in the center of the galaxy. On the other hand, infrared light makes astronomers able to observe the oldest stars of the galaxy which are red in color. These stars are present in the whole galaxy. High-energy zones are observed by X-rays, consist of energetic emissions from binary star systems along with black holes and neutrons.

A supermassive black hole is present at the center of the galaxy. This black hole emits X-rays. While viewing through infrared light, arms of the galaxy appear shiny which is due to the presence of dust and cool gas. The temperature of the gases is increased by the explosion of supernova.