About this Image
This stunning space wallpaper shows the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51 or NGC 5194, which is one of the most spectacular examples of a spiral galaxy. With two spiral arms curling into one another in a billowing swirl, this galaxy hosts over a hundred billion stars and is currently merging with its companion, the smaller galaxy NGC 5195.
In this image, observations performed at three different wavelengths with ESA’s Herschel and XMM-Newton space telescopes are combined to reveal how three generations of stars coexist in the Whirlpool Galaxy.
Credit: ESA / Herschel / XMM-Newton. Acknowledgements: "Physical Processes in the Interstellar Medium of Very Nearby Galaxies" Key Programme, Christine Wilson
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