APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

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APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Apr 08, 2023 4:05 am

Image M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy

Explanation: Majestic on a truly cosmic scale, M100 is appropriately known as a grand design spiral galaxy. It is a large galaxy of over 100 billion stars with well-defined spiral arms that is similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy. One of the brightest members of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, M100 (alias NGC 4321) is 56 million light-years distant toward the constellation of Berenice's Hair (Coma Berenices). This Hubble Space Telescope image of M100 was taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 and accentuates bright blue star clusters and intricate winding dust lanes which are hallmarks of this class of galaxies. Studies of variable stars in M100 have played an important role in determining the size and age of the Universe.

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by Ann » Sat Apr 08, 2023 6:25 am

Hooray! One of my favorite galaxies is the subject of today's APOD.


I have a particularly soft spot for M100 for two reasons. First, because M100 was the galaxy that Hubble photographed back in December 1993 to show us its improved vision after it had been fitted with "glasses":


hubblesite wrote:

This comparison image of the core of the galaxy M100 shows the dramatic improvement in Hubble Space Telescope's view of the universe. The new image was taken with the second generation Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC-2) which was installed during the STS-61 Hubble Servicing Mission. The picture beautifully demonstrates that the corrective optics incorporated within the WFPC-2 compensate fully for optical aberration in Hubble's primary mirror. The new camera will allow Hubble to probe the universe with unprecedented clarity and sensitivity, and to fulfill many of the most important scientific objectives for which the telescope was originally built.

The second reason why I love M100 is this picture from my trusted old Color Atlas of Galaxies by James D Wray, from 1988:

Supernova 1979C in M100 James D Wray.jpg
M100 with supernova SN 1979C from The Color Atlas of Galaxies.
The supernova is the bright blob at lower right.
Credit: James D. Wray.

I really apologize for the lousy picture, because I had to photograph the not very sharply detailed image by James D Wray directly from his atlas with my mobile camera. (And I haven't figured out how to crop images that I take with my mobile phone.)

But seriously, people, this might be the only picture in existence of Supernova 1979C, which was a remarkably bright supernova back in 1979. Consider this: Seven (7) supernovas have been detected in M100 since 1901, and SN 1979C was three magnitudes brighter than any of the other six! SN 1979C was mighty! It was superb! 💥

The Wikipedia article on M100 lists all the seven supernovas, but it fails to mention the peak brightness of SN 1979C! Instead it talks about SN 1979C as if it faded too quickly for us to know much about it! :facepalm:

But the peak apparent magnitude of SN 1979C is mentioned in the Wikipedia article on the supernova itself!!

And to think that James D. Wray managed to photograph this supernova when he was photographing galaxies for his atlas!!! :shock: :D

Ann
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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by AVAO » Sat Apr 08, 2023 7:10 am

APOD Robot wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 4:05 am Image M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy

I like this great galaxy too. This is also very exciting in IR.


Image
Image source: SST
Image
Image source: SST/JWST
Image
Image source: SST/JWST
Image
Image source: JWST/HST
Image
Image source: HST

jac berne (flickr)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/185130090@N02/
Last edited by AVAO on Sat Apr 08, 2023 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by Ironwood » Sat Apr 08, 2023 10:24 am

There's a mistake in today's description. On APOD, you must say "well coiffed" whenever referring to Coma Berenices. I'm going to let it go this time, but please try to be more accurate in the future.

Ann, please fix all the astronomical mistakes you encounter on Wikipedia.

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by De58te » Sat Apr 08, 2023 11:56 am

Speaking of mistakes in the description (possible mistake?) it says that M100 is 56 million light-years from Coma Berenices. I would rather like to know how far M100 is away from the Solar System? Wiki says that the nearest star in Coma Berenices is some 27 ly away. Would that mean that M100 is 56 million PLUS 27 light years away from the Solar System? That is some rather fine measurements. Talk about splitting 'hairs'.

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Apr 08, 2023 12:48 pm

De58te wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 11:56 am Speaking of mistakes in the description (possible mistake?) it says that M100 is 56 million light-years from Coma Berenices. I would rather like to know how far M100 is away from the Solar System? Wiki says that the nearest star in Coma Berenices is some 27 ly away. Would that mean that M100 is 56 million PLUS 27 light years away from the Solar System? That is some rather fine measurements. Talk about splitting 'hairs'.
I'm not finding anything in the caption that says M100 is 56 million ly from Coma Berenices.

As always, the editors use the unconventional terminology of saying an object is "towards" a constellation, rather than "in" a constellation. But other than that, nothing else stands out.
Chris

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by Ann » Sat Apr 08, 2023 6:52 pm

Ironwood wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 10:24 am Ann, please fix all the astronomical mistakes you encounter on Wikipedia.
How do I do that? I'm not allowed to write anything on Wikipedia.

Ann
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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Apr 08, 2023 8:14 pm

Ann wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 6:52 pm
Ironwood wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 10:24 am Ann, please fix all the astronomical mistakes you encounter on Wikipedia.
How do I do that? I'm not allowed to write anything on Wikipedia.

Ann
You are if you create an account for yourself.
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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by johnnydeep » Sat Apr 08, 2023 8:25 pm

Chris Peterson wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 8:14 pm
Ann wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 6:52 pm
Ironwood wrote: Sat Apr 08, 2023 10:24 am Ann, please fix all the astronomical mistakes you encounter on Wikipedia.
How do I do that? I'm not allowed to write anything on Wikipedia.

Ann
You are if you create an account for yourself.
Yup. It's updatable by all, which is what makes it prone to human error - or deliberate abuse - but it's also what makes it self-correcting!
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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Apr 08, 2023 9:19 pm

M100_HubbleWfc3_960.jpg
M100 is a beautiful galaxy; but so are a lot of others! So why is it a
grand design? 8-)
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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by starsurfer » Sat Apr 08, 2023 9:55 pm

I wonder if Judy has ever been to St Louis?

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by Cousin Ricky » Sat Apr 08, 2023 11:58 pm

Speaking of Judy Schmidt, has anyone heard from her lately?

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by Avalon » Sun Apr 09, 2023 2:28 am

Fantastic image! Is there an explanation for the "loop" in the spiral arm just 1 o'clock from the galactic center in this view? Is it an area of intense stellar wind or ?

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Re: APOD: M100: A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy (2023 Apr 08)

Post by johnnydeep » Sun Apr 09, 2023 1:29 pm

Avalon wrote: Sun Apr 09, 2023 2:28 am Fantastic image! Is there an explanation for the "loop" in the spiral arm just 1 o'clock from the galactic center in this view? Is it an area of intense stellar wind or ?
Whether it's deemed a "loop" or "bubble", I think it's just our eyes finding apparent structure with no meaningful cause.

EDIT: although, having said that, there is a similar "bubble" on the other side, though it's less well defined:

bubbles in m100.png

So, does either bubble signify some meaningful underlying creation mechanism beyond random chance? I still say, probable not.
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