Sunflower Galaxy

A Cosmic Sunflower

Last night I revisited M63, the Sunflower Galaxy.

More formally M63, the Sunflower Galaxy is about 25 million light-years away. It’s about the same size as our Milky Way, but is classified as a “flocculent spiral” galaxy due to its poorly defined spiral arms.

The more distant edge-on spiral galaxy on the right doesn’t show up on my charts, so I doubt much is known about it. Blow it up and look closely, and you’ll see many more cigar-shaped galaxies that are even farther away – likely many hundreds of millions of light-years.

Shot last night over about 8 hours.

This alternate view also includes a night’s worth of exposure through a Hydrogen-Alpha filter, which brings out the red clouds of ionized Hydrogen gas within these galaxies.

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