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Sunflower Galaxy

Even if we could travel at light speed, it would take us 27 million years to reach Messier-63, also known as M63, NGC 5055 or the Sunflower Galaxy, a spiral galaxy in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici.

Whether there is life in this galaxy will remain a mystery, but we do know that it contains approximately 400 billion stars.

First discovered in 1779 by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain, the sunflower galaxy was the first of 24 objects that Méchain contributed to Charles Messier’s catalogue.

It may be a spiral galaxy, but a closer look at pictures of M63 reveal that it only has two spiral arms that are wound tightly around the core, giving the impression of many arms.

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