Over its 30 years of service, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken millions of photographs of intriguing events. It has captured some of the most stunning sights in the universe, giving the eyes of space enthusiasts a feast. Now, one such image that looks like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space is among the US space agency’s most recent sharing.
Taking to Twitter, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared a stunning image of the M51 galaxy, also known as the Whirlpool galaxy. “We’re spinning in circles…Get swept away by the Whirlpool Galaxy’s curved arms, pink star-forming regions, and brilliant blue strands of star clusters,” NASA wrote in the caption.
We turn arround…
Be swept away by the curved arms of the Whirlpool Galaxy, the pink star forming regions and the brilliant blue strands of star clusters. To explore #GalaxiesGalore with @NASAHubble on @Tumblr: https://t.co/F2kzCVAYBtpic.twitter.com/zVUKShxrEB
—NASA (@NASA) May 22, 2022
This “hypnotic spiral galaxy” was captured in visible light with Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. Since being shared, the post has racked up over 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
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“I wish there was an AI that could interpret images and turn them into music. I would love to hear what this image looks like,” wrote one user. “It looks so beautiful there- in it and all the beautiful lights,” added another. A third user said, “How beautiful, can’t take my eyes away.”
According to a press note, the space agency explained that the graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 are actually long lanes of stars and gas covered in dust. He said such striking arms are a feature of so-called “grand design spiral galaxies”.
“In M51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, these arms serve an important purpose: they are star-forming factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars,” NASA added.
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Additionally, the agency went on to explain that in the captivating image, red represents infrared light as well as hydrogen in regions of giant star formation. The blue color, on the other hand, can be attributed to hot young stars, while the yellow color comes from older stars. It should be noted that M51 is located 31 million light years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici.