Picture of the Day: A 'Pinwheel' of a Galaxy

m101.jpg

Twenty-one million light years from Earth is M101, also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy. The galaxy is 70 percent bigger than the Milky Way, and lies in the area of the sky that contains Ursa Major, more commonly called the Big Dipper. From end to end, the galaxy is about 170,000 light years across. The above picture, just released from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, combines data from four of NASA's big telescopes to give a complete picture of the different light wavelengths coming from the spiral.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

Presented by

Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Technology

Just In