The picture of this week is of the M51 Whirlpool Galaxy at
This picture, taken by the Hubble telescope, gives astronomers a detailed view of the Whirlpool Galaxy’s spiral arms and dust clouds. These are the birth sites of massive and luminous stars. This galaxy, also called M51 or NGC 5194, is having a close encounter with a nearby companion galaxy, NGC 5195, which is shown in the upper edge of the picture. The companion’s gravitational influence is triggering star formation in the Whirlpool, as shown by the numerous clusters of bright, young stars.
How large is this structure? How far? Are these beautiful colors natural? Do you find similarities between Milky Way and M51 galaxies? Would you ever be able to travel to this galaxy? If yes, where would you go?
Document your thoughts, reactions, and questions about the picture and its description in the discussion area. (around One Page)
Read the posts of your peers and respond to at least two peers. (write short paragraph for each peer with labeling what peer did you choose.). In each response, consider the following:
•How are your reactions and thoughts similar to your peer’s?
•How are they different?
•If your peer posted a question, what are some answers or additional thoughts you can provide in response?
•What other comments or thoughts do you have?
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