Whirlpool Galaxy

Joshua Abrego - Fall 2012


The Whirlpool Galaxy is located 31 million light years away. It consists of two galaxies that accompany one another, the larger one being M51 (Messier 51) and the miniature one being NGC 5195. M51 was first discovered by Charles Messier on October 13, 1773, hence the name Messier 51, and NGC 5195 was discovered by his partner Pierre Mechain on March 21, 1781. It wasn't seen as a spiral galaxy, but a "very faint nebula, without stars" (quoted from: Petite N├ębuleuse, plus faible), not until 1845 when Lord Rosse identified it's spiral features while using his very own telescope, known as the "The Leviathan of Parsonstown"- the world's largest telescope at that time (Amazing Space LRR) . It's spiral feature was presumed to be caused by it's neighboring galaxy NGC 5195, pulling on each other by its force of gravity. Along the way of spiraling, it also created stars within the galaxy. The arms of the spiral, which consists of the colorful red and blue hues, are made up of the star dust particles with blue being the hottest of the colors.

external image 07_Whirlpool_M51_NGC_5194.jpg

Source: http://cassian.memphis.edu/physics/starlight/images/07_Whirlpool_M51_NGC_5194.jpg

Exploring the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51

Author: RC Davison
Last Updated: 6/1/2011
Date Reviewed: 10/18/2012
Reviewed By: Joshua A.
About this site: This site is similar to Mr. Adkins very own "wikispaces" website., which allows authorized people to edit and update the information anytime of the day. It provides detailed information about the Whirlpool Galaxy, which consists of general info., the contents within the galaxy, the founders, and even multiple photos that disect the Whirlpool galaxy. The photos include Infrared, Ultraviolet, X-Ray, and Optical versions of the galaxy. This website seems somewhat reliable, it depends on if you only rely on expert advice or if you can depend on amateur research.

external image M51-Sketch-Rosse.jpg
Resource: http://www.scienceresourceworld.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/M51-Sketch-Rosse.jpg
Sketch of Whirpool Galaxy by Lord Rosse

Image Tours: Whirlpool Galaxy

Author: Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI)
Date Reviewed: 10/18/2012
Reviewed By: Joshua A.
About this site: This site provides a grand tour of the great Whirlpool Galaxy, providing a single but clear detailed photo, along with additional key facts about the galaxy. It allows viewers to choose different questions about the galaxy they've provided, which zooms up & focuses on an distinct spot based on the question you choose. It's great for for all ages and explains a great deal about the galaxy without having the viewer read a long article about it. So if you don't like to read a lot, but want to know the main ideas about the galaxy, this is the one for you. A very accurate and reliable source. The information is provided by a Hubble Space Institution that's studies and documents the universe for a living and has provided this website to reach out to the public. They've provided other links to various subjects they've posted about.
external image sti-logo.gif

Source: http://www.newswise.com/images/institutions/logos/sti-logo.gif

Out of this whirl: The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and companion galaxy

Author: S. Beckwith
Last Updated: April 25, 2005
Date Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2012
Reviewed By: Joshua A.
About this site: This site provides an article that was written by a member of the Hubble Heritage Team, which is a legit group that's involved with NASA. This article is a documentation of what the author observed during that time, providing data and telescopic photos that she's recorded. So, it is definitely a reliable source. All ages are suitable to read their information. Links such as Kids & Teachers, Videos, News, Shops, Projects, etc. are posted for the viewers to see.
The Hubble Heritage Team Members
The Hubble Heritage Team Members

Source: http://heritage.stsci.edu/commonpages/bios/rollover/team2007.jpg

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Resolves a Dark "x" Across the Nucleus of M51

Author: H. Ford
Last Updated: June 8, 1992
Date Reviewed: Oct. 18, 2012
Reviewed By: Joshua A.
About this site: This site is a very brief article explaining the mysterious X located in the middle of the Whirlpool Galaxy. This article was developed by a member of the Space Telescope Science Institute and provides a picture of the "X" within the galaxy. It's fairly old but is the only article that focuses on that subject. It is definitely a reliable source, coming from an expert astronomy team.
external image 2009-01-17_whirlpool_galaxy_core_cross.jpg
Source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9ypE7dC4vlo/SXLCyAiyQnI/AAAAAAAACYc/AMlttm3KYGU/s400/2009-01-17_whirlpool_galaxy_core_cross.jpg

New Supernova Spotted in the Whirlpool Galaxy

Author: Andrew Fazekas
Last Updated: June 3, 2011
Date Reviewed: Oct. 18 2012
Reviewed By: Joshua A.
About the site: This site indicates a new discovery that scientists, from a Canadian Space Agency, has discovered about the Whirlpool Galaxy and has provided this information for NatGeo to publish. Andrew describes that a new supernova was created by the swirling forces of the two neighboring galaxies M51 & NG 5195. They've posted professional photos taken in observatories by the Hubble Space team and brief information about their findings. A blog created by a well-known organization of NatGeo and written by a reliable journalist from a group called "The Royal Astronimcal Society of Canada" definitely makes this source very trustworthy to the viewers. It's suitable for mainly the older society (15 years old and up).
external image 060611_supernova_saline_1-thumb-550x550-79812.jpg
Source: http://www.annarbor.com/assets_c/2011/06/060611_supernova_saline_1-thumb-550x550-79812.jpg