This massive collection of stars, gas and dust gets its name from its distinctive spiral shape, first noted in 1845 by Irish astronomer William Parsons, also known as Lord Rosse.
Explore the science along with the scenery – Image Tours show Hubble pictures through an astronomer's eyes, pinpointing and explaining key features to add understanding to the joy of cosmic sightseeing.
• Out of This Whirl: the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and Companion Galaxy
• Hubble Reveals the Heart of the Whirlpool Galaxy
• Spitzer View of the Spiral Galaxy M51 ("Whirlpool Galaxy")
• An x-ray view of the Whirlpool Galaxy
Publication: February 9, 2006