Messier 99

APOD: 2021 June 24 - Messier 99

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2021 June 24
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Messier 99
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, Janice Lee; Processing & Copyright: Leo Shatz

Explanation: Grand design spiral galaxy Messier 99 looks majestic on a truly cosmic scale. This recently processed full galaxy portrait stretches over 70,000 light-years across M99. The sharp view is a combination of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared image data from the Hubble Space Telescope. About 50 million light-years distant toward the well-groomed constellation Coma Bernices, the face-on spiral is a member of the nearby Virgo Galaxy Cluster. Also cataloged as NGC 4254, a close encounter with another Virgo cluster member has likely influenced the shape of its well-defined, blue spiral arms.

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