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Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055)





Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055)
The Sunflower Galaxy.
Image courtesy Richard Crisp

A spiral galaxy (type Sb or Sc) in Canes Venatici that appears to lie in the M51 Group dominated by the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51); it was discovered in 1779 by Pierre Méchain. The Sunflower's spiral arms show up as a grainy background, which brightens slowly at first, going in from the periphery, but then rapidly to the nuclear region. It hosted a Type I supernova (1971I), first seen on May 25, 1971, which reached magnitude 11.8.


visual magnitude 8.6
apparent size 10' × 6'
distance ~37,000,000 light-years
position R.A. 13h 15.8m,
Dec. +42h 2m


Related categories

   • GALAXIES
   • MESSIER CATALOGUE