In its 30 years of service, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has snapped millions of photographs of intriguing events. It has captured some of the most amazing views of the universe, giving space enthusiasts' eyes a treat. Now, one such image that appears like a grand spiral staircase sweeping through space is among the most recent shares by the American space agency.
Taking to Twitter, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared a magnificent picture of galaxy M51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. “Round and round we go… Let yourself be whisked away by the Whirlpool Galaxy's curving arms, pink star-forming regions, and brilliant blue strands of star clusters,” NASA wrote in the caption.
Round and round we go…— NASA (@NASA) May 22, 2022
Let yourself be whisked away by the Whirlpool Galaxy's curving arms, pink star-forming regions, and brilliant blue strands of star clusters. Explore #GalaxiesGalore with @NASAHubble on @Tumblr: https://t.co/F2kzCVAYBtpic.twitter.com/zVUKShxrEB
This "hypnotic spiral galaxy" was captured in visible light with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys. Since being shared, the post has accumulated over 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments.
“I wish there was an A.I. that could interpret images and turn it into music. I'd love to hear what this picture sounded like,” wrote one user. “It looks so beautiful in there and all the beautiful lights,” added another. A third user said, “What a beauty, can't divert my eyes.”
According to a press note, the space agency explained that the graceful, winding arms of the majestic spiral galaxy M51 are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust. It said that such striking arms are a hallmark of so-called “grand-design spiral galaxies”.
“In M51, also known as the Whirlpool galaxy, these arms serve an important purpose: they are star-formation factories, compressing hydrogen gas and creating clusters of new stars,” NASA added.
Further, the agency went on to explain that in the captivating image, the red represents infrared light as well as hydrogen within giant star-forming regions. The blue colour, on the other hand, can be attributed to hot, young stars while the yellow colour is from older stars. It is to mention that M51 is located 31 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici.