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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2005

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M 100 Spiral Galaxy, Nicole Faber

M 100 Spiral Galaxy

Spiral Galaxies are generally associated with an active star-forming region. The "arms" of the galaxies are the regions where there is active star formation. Many hot young blue and blue-white stars make the spiral arms visible. The nucleus of the spiral galaxy is typically redder in color then the rest of the galaxy. The redness in the nucleus generally indicates the presence of many old stars that are located in the nucleus of the galaxy. Spiral galaxies are often in an ellipse shape, and have a bulge its shape. A spiral galaxy is rich in gas and dust, and this is typically what makes the galaxy so pretty. The presence of dust and gas defines the arms of the galaxy.

M 100 was first discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 15, 1781. This galaxy is one of the brightest members of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. M 100 is a spiral galaxy and has to prominent arms of bright blue stars, accompanied by several fainter arms. The blue stars in the arms are young, hot, and massive stars which were formed recently from interactions with neighboring galaxies. Research of this galaxy has revealed that M 100 is actually much larger than what is actually shown in photographs. A significant part of the galaxy's mass must lie in the faint outer regions of the galaxy, which is very difficult to see.

The M 100 Spiral Galaxy is about 60,000,000 light years away from the Earth. The spiral galaxy's actual linear size is 87,000 light years.


Right Ascension (J2000) 12:23:12
Declination (J2000) +15:47:33
Filters used clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in C
Date observed

April 2, 2005 (C)