Location of Photo:
Rio Hurtado Valley, Chile
Date/Time of photo:
PlaneWave Instruments CDK 20"; ML16200 (Remote Astronomy via iTelescope)
Spiral Galaxies are among the most beautiful objects in the night sky, and the Pinwheel Galaxy is a great example. The gigantic spiral disk stretches across 170,000 light-years, making it nearly twice as large as our Milky Way galaxy. The galaxy’s spiral arms are sprinkled with patches of star-forming nebulas (the pinkish regions), where new stars are being born. Intense radiation from the newborn stars ionised the mother clouds(mainly made of hydrogen), causing them to glow pinkish red. The structure also speaks to the beauty of cosmological evolution. In our universe governed by the second law of thermodynamics, although matter eventually falls towards chaos, orderly structures can temporarily arise, and great beauty can emerge in the process.