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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2008

The Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055)


M63 is a spiral galaxy similar to our Milky Way but has multiple spiral arms that have a characteristic of a sunflower. This galaxy was discovered by Pierre Mechain in 1779 and was catalogued immediately by Messier. M63 is located approximately 35 million light years from our Milky Way in the the direction of the constellation Canes Venaciti.            

The image above displays the multi arm spirals of this vast galaxy of stars that surround a bright star. The angular size of M63 is approximately 5.39 arc minutes. The linear size is approximately 55,000 light-years. .

Kronberg, Christine; Aug. 30,2007


Nemiroff, Robert (MTU) & Bonnell, Jerry (USRA)


Right Ascension (J2000) `13 15 49.30'
Declination (J2000) +42 02 06.'
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 15seconds in C, 60 seconds in BVR
Date observed

June 30, 2009 (C)
June 30, 2009 (BVR)