Galaxies - celestialpixels
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Pinwheel Galaxy - M101

Pinwheel Galaxy - M101

The Pinwheel Galaxy (also known as Messier 101 or NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy distanced 25 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major.M101 is a relatively large galaxy compared to the Milky Way. With a diameter of 170,000 light-years it is nearly twice the size of the Milky Way. It has a disk mass on the order of 100 billion solar masses, along with a small bulge of about 3 billion solar masses.Another remarkable property of this galaxy is its huge and extremely bright H II regions, of which a total of about 3,000 can be seen on photographs.[citation needed] H II regions usually accompany the enormous clouds of high density molecular hydrogen gas contracting under their own gravitational force where stars form. H II regions are ionized by large numbers of extremely bright and hot young stars.M101 can be seen to be asymmetrical on one side. It is thought that in the recent past (speaking in galactic terms) M101 underwent a near collision with another galaxy and the associated gravitational tidal forces caused the asymmetry. In addition, this encounter also amplified the density waves in the spiral arms of M101. The amplification of these waves leads to the compression of the interstellar hydrogen gas, which then triggers strong star formation activity

Scope: Vixen VC200L
Mount: Skywatcher HEQ5 Pro
Camera: ATIK 314L mono
Filters: Baader LRGB +Ha 7nm
Total exposure: 9h
Location: Gythio, Greece