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M74 Spiral Galaxy
Sarah Kok

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The M74 Galaxy is a spiral galaxy located in the Pisces constellation. Pierre Méchain discovered the galaxy in 1780 and Charles Messier included it in his catalogue. The galaxy was host to two recent supernovae, Supernova 2002 ap and Supernova 2003 gd. The galaxy’s Hubble classification is SA(s)c, meaning it has spiral arms and is without a ring structure. The galaxy is about 30-40 million light years away and spiral arms in the above image are approximately 43,000 light years across. It contains many blue star clusters and HII regions.

The blue star clusters can be clearly seen throughout the spiral arms, indicating their relatively young age. This galaxy is a good example of a spiral galaxy, because of the clearly defined, swirling arms of stars. These arms contain many different star clusters, giving them a clumpy appearance. The galaxy is yellow in the center because this is where the stars are older and cooler than the hot blue stars in the clusters we see in the galaxy's arms.

References:
Frommert, Harmut, and Christine Kronberg. Messier 74. Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. 2 Sept. 2007. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. <http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m074.html>.

Nemiroff, Robert, and Jerry Bonnell. M74: The Perfect Spiral. Ed. Jerry Bonnell and Robert Nemiroff. NASA, 1 Dec. 2007. Web. 4 Dec. 2010. <http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap071201.html>.

Right Ascension (J2000) 1:37:19
Declination (J2000) +15:50:43
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds
Date observed

October 25, 2010

 

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