The Sunflower of Canes Venatici
This galaxy is featured in LizPeter’s OOTD for 24th of July 2010.
This is Messier 63, though I much prefer its other name, the sunflower galaxy. It’s a wonderful dusty spiral galaxy lying 22.9 million light years away from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici. It’s one of 7 galaxies bound gravitationally together in the M51 group, and according to Wikipedia, it is one of the first objects to be seen to have spiral arms. This was pointed out in 1845 by William Parsons in a time when these objects were thought to be ‘spiral nebulae’ in our own galaxy, and not galaxies themselves. SIMBAD also claims that there is a cluster of stars lying in the foreground of the galaxy.