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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2010

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Sunflower Galaxy , Elizabeth Bushouse

Sunflower Galaxy

The Sunflower galaxy is a spiral galaxy found in the Canes Venatici constellation. A spiral galaxy is a galaxy in which a disk of stars and interstellar matter is focused on a central point called the 'bulge'. It was Pierre Méchain's first discovery; discovered on June 14, 1779. It is about 37 million light years away from us, and about the same size as our own Milky Way galaxy.

Since it is a spiral galaxy, in the center it has a bulge, which appears as a glowing ball of yellow light. Circling around it is what appears to be yellow dust. Altogether, especially when it is rendered in this yellow light, it looks like a sunflower, which is probably where it got its name. Its angular size is ~4.48 arcminutes, and its linear size is ~48 thousand light years.

References:
Hallas, Tony. "Messier 63: The Sunflower Galaxy." Astronomy Picture of the Day. <http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap080417.html>.

Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "Messier Object 63." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. <http://seds.org/messier/m/m063.html>

Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "Spiral Galaxies (and other disks)." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. <http://www.seds.org/messier/spir.html>

Right Ascension (J2000) 13:15:48
Declination (J2000) +42:02:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 600 seconds for each
Date observed

March 3, 2010 4:41am (BVRC)