Spitzer Captures a Pink Sunflower in Space


Looking out my own window this morning provides a gloomy overcast view, so this new image from the Spitzer Space Telescope provides a day-brightener: a pink sunflower! This is the Sunflower galaxy, also known as Messier 63, and with Spitzers’ infrared eyes, the arms of the galaxy show up vividly. Infrared light is sensitive to the dust lanes in spiral galaxies, which appear dark in visible-light images. Spitzer’s view reveals complex structures that trace the galaxy’s spiral arm pattern.

Source: JPL
This galaxy is about 37 million-light years away from Earth, and lies close to the well-known Whirlpool galaxy and the associated Messier 51 group of galaxies.

One Reply to “Spitzer Captures a Pink Sunflower in Space”

  1. A beauty image! M63 is in Canes Venatici at 13h 15m 39.3s, 42deg 1′ 45″

    Last night during some rare clear weather here in Californicator, I got to see 7 galaxies with my little 4″ S/C. M96, M95, M105, M65, M66, M81, and M82! That’s something over a trillion stars! Comes the spring sky… and its time for GALAXIES! Yippee!

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