Messier 101, also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy (NGC 5457) is a face-on spiral galaxy that can be found in the constellation Ursa Major at 21 million light years from Earth.
With a diameter of approximately 170.000 light years, this galaxy is almost twice as large as our own Milky Way.
This galaxy features some huge and extremely bright H II regions in which stars are being formed, these can be seen as “blobs of nebulae” in the image.
A supernova was discovered on August 24, 2011 being the 4th supernova recorded in M101.
M101 is the brightest galaxy of a small group which consists of approx. 9 galaxies, named the M101 Group.
It is however not an easy visual target as it has a rather low surface brightness.
Mar 19, 2009 – Canon 20D (10″ Newt. 1h56m)
|Name||M101 – The Pinwheel Galaxy|
|Right ascension||14h 03m 13s|
|Declination||+54° 20′ 57″|
|Other designations||NGC5457, UGC8981, PGC50063, Arp 26|