A Picture of the Whirlpool Galaxy

Whirlpool Galaxy Facts

  • Name: Whirlpool Galaxy
  • Type of Galaxy: Spiral Galaxy
  • Estimated Size: 76,000 light-years (diameter)
  • Estimated Stars: > 100 billion stars
  • Distance from Earth: ± 23 million light-years
  • Discovered: October 13, 1773
  • Discovered by: Charles Messier

16 Whirlpool Galaxy Facts for Kids

  1. Whirlpool is a grand-design spiral galaxy in our universe.
  2. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also known as M51a, Messier 51a and NGC 5194.
  3. The Whirlpool Galaxy was discovered by Charles Messier on October 13th, 1773.
  4. The Whirlpool Galaxy has an estimated diameter of 76,000 light-years.
  5. The Whirlpool Galaxy is around 23 million light-years from Earth.
  6. Astronomers estimate the Whirlpool Galaxy has around 100 billion stars.
  7. The Whirlpool Galaxy is about 75% the size of our Milky Way Galaxy.
  8. The Whirlpool Galaxy is part of a small group of galaxies known as the M51 Group.
  9. The Whirlpool Galaxy was the first galaxy to get the classification of a spiral galaxy.
  10. Amateur astronomers can observe the Whirlpool Galaxy with binoculars or a small telescope.
  11. Whirlpool Galaxy has a companion galaxy known as NGC 5195, also known as Messier 51b and M51b.
  12. The Whirlpool Galaxy and its companion are one of the most popular and studied interacting galaxy pairs.
  13. Astronomers have witnessed three supernova events in the Whirlpool Galaxy.
  14. In 1994, the supernova type Ic SN 1994I occurred in Whirlpool Galaxy.
  15. In 2005, the supernova type II SN 2005cs occurred in the Whirlpool Galaxy.
  16. In 2011, the supernova type II SN 2011dh occurred in the Whirlpool Galaxy.

Additional Resources with Whirlpool Galaxy Facts