Spiral Galaxy M101 - Spitzer Space Telescope
Ssc2009 03b1

Credit: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, and K. Gordon (STScI)

Observation • February 10th, 2009 • ssc2009-03b1


The galaxy Messier 101 is a swirling spiral of stars, gas, and dust. Messier 101 is nearly twice as wide as our Milky Way galaxy. Spitzer's view, taken in infrared light, reveals the galaxy's delicate dust lanes as yellow-green filaments. Such dense dust clouds are where new stars can form. In this image, dust warmed by the light of hot, young stars glows red. The rest of the galaxy's hundreds of billions of stars are less prominent and form a blue haze. Astronomers can use infrared light to examine the dust clouds where stars are born.

About the Object

Pinwheel GalaxyMessier 101M101
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Galaxy > Activity > Normal
27,000,000 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 4.5 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 8.0 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 24.0 µm Spitzer MIPS