M101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)

  • Released Monday, June 18th, 2018
  • Updated Friday, August 25th, 2023 at 12:44AM
  • ID: 30969

M101 is a comparable in size to the Milky Way. The disk is 100 billion solar masses, and the central bulge of about 3 billion solar masses. M101 is rich is pinkish star forming regions, many of which are very large and bright. Unlike most spiral galaxies, M101's spiral shape is notably asymmetrical. This is due to the tidal forces from interactions with its companion galaxies. These gravitational interactions compress interstellar hydrogen gas, which then triggers strong star formation activity in M101's spiral arms.


Please give credit for this item to:

Video: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STScI)
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, K. Kuntz (JHU), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (Jet Propulsion Lab), J. Mould (NOAO), Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana), and STScI


This visualization is related to the following missions:

Datasets used in this visualization

Spitzer Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
Observed Data
Chandra (Collected with the Telescope System sensor)

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