Sunflower Galaxy

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Messier 63
Messier 63 GALEX WikiSky.jpg
M63 from GALEX sky survey
Observation data (J2000 epoch)
Constellation Canes Venatici
Right ascension 13h 15m 49.3s[1]
Declination +42° 01′ 45″[1]
Redshift 484 km/s[1]
Distance 27 Mly[2]
Apparent magnitude (V) 9.3[1]
Type SA(rs)bc[1]
Apparent size (V) 12′.6 × 7′.2[1]
Other designations
M63, NGC 5055, UGC 8334, PGC 46153[1]
See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies

Messier 63 (also known as M63, NGC 5055, or the Sunflower Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici consisting of a central disc surrounded by many short spiral arm segments, the galaxy form known as flocculent. M63 is part of the M51 Group, a group of galaxies that also includes M51 (the 'Whirlpool Galaxy'). M63 is an active galaxy with a LINER nucleus.[3] The existence of a super massive black hole (SMBH) at the nucleus is uncertain; if it does exist, then the mass is estimated as (8.5±1.9)×108 M.[4]


M63 was discovered by Pierre Méchain on June 14, 1779.[5] The galaxy was then listed by Charles Messier as object 63 in the Messier Catalogue.

In the mid-19th century, Lord Rosse identified spiral structures within the galaxy, making this one of the first galaxies in which such structure was identified.[5]

In 1971, a supernova with a magnitude of 11.8 appeared in one of the arms of M63.

Spiral galaxy M63 (NGC 5055), by HST (450 and 814 nm).
Messier 63 seen in infrared by the Spitzer Space Telescope.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 5055. Retrieved 2006-10-10.
  2. ^ NASA (2015). [1]. Retrieved Mar. 2, 2017
  3. ^ "M 63". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  4. ^ Graham, Alister W. (November 2008), "Populating the Galaxy Velocity Dispersion - Supermassive Black Hole Mass Diagram: A Catalogue of (Mbh, σ) Values", Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 25 (4): 167–175, arXiv:0807.2549, Bibcode:2008PASA...25..167G, doi:10.1071/AS08013.
  5. ^ a b K. G. Jones (1991). Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37079-5.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: Sky map 13h 15m 49.3s, +42° 01′ 45″