The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51A or NGC 5194) and (M51B or NGC 5195, left). The Whirlpool Galaxy is a grand-design spiral galaxy, interacting with NGC 5195, a dwarg galxy. Both galaxies are located 23 ± 4 million light-years away in Canes Venatici.
WHEN GALAXIES COLLIDE The Whirlpool Galaxy, the red spiral, and its companion galaxy, NG 5195 are 23 million light-years from Earth - that's relatively close. IRAC shows the warm dust in red, a sign of active star formation probably triggered by a collision between the two galaxies.
A composite image of M51, called the Whirlpool Galaxy, 30 million light years from Earth and 60 thousand light years across. The original images were taken with a telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the Hubble Space Telescope. (Photo: NASA via The Telegraph)