Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055)

Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055)

The Sunflower Galaxy. Image courtesy Richard Crisp.

The Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055) is 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 M�chain. 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 25 May 1971, which reached magnitude 11.8.


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