IR M63. What RU?

By Phil Plait | March 4, 2011 7:00 am

Y’know, I’ve posted a lot of really pretty and cool pictures of spiral galaxies lately, and I’ve given descriptions of how they have black holes in their cores, and how the spiral arms form, and where stars are being born, and and and.

So you know what?

Boom! There you go. [Click to galactinate it.] No fancy explanations, no expounding on the ethereal beauty of dust lanes in an infrared picture from Spitzer, no lectures on anything. Just a really, really pretty picture.

I mean, I could mention how this galaxy, M63, is nearby at only 37 million light years, and how I’ve seen it myself through my telescope. But no, I won’t do that. Nothing about the prevalent short, stubby arms — called spurs — or ring of dust circling the core. And certainly nothing on how the starlight has been subtracted from the image so all you see is warm dust.

Nope. Just the picture.

Pretty, isn’t it?

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Related posts:

Gallery: Spitzer’s greatest hits
The Milky Way’s (almost) identical twin
A galaxy that’s all hat and no head

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Pretty pictures

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