The Whirlpool spiral galaxy M51, is one of the most well-known objects ever observed by Hubble.
On its 15th anniversary, Hubble released this new view of M51, which was among the largest and sharpest images Hubble had ever taken with its newest camera, the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). This large Whirlpool Galaxy has sharply defined spiral arms which may be the result of the Whirlpool's gravitational tug-of-war with the smaller companion galaxy nearby. The image showcases classic features of spiral galaxies, from the curving arms where newborn stars spin, to the yellowish central core which serves as the home for older stars.
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Object Name: Whirlpool Galaxy, M51, NGC 5194/5
Release date: Apr 25, 2005
Image Credits: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)