The Sunflower Galaxy (also known as Messier 63, M63, or NGC 5055) is an w:unbarred spiral galaxy in the w:Canes Venatici w:constellation. It is a w:flocculent spiral galaxy, consisting of a central disc surrounded by many short spiral arm segments. The Sunflower Galaxy is part of the w:M51 Group, a group of galaxies that also includes the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51).

Sunflower Galaxy
Observation data (w:J2000 epoch)
Constellationw:Canes Venatici
Right ascension13h 15m 49.3s[1]
Declination+42° 01′ 45″[1]
Redshift504 km/s[1]
Distance37 Mly[2]
Apparent dimensions (V)12′.6 × 7′.2[1]
Apparent magnitude (V)9.3[1]
Other designations
M63, NGC 5055, UGC 8334, PGC 46153[1]


The Sunflower Galaxy was discovered by w:Pierre Méchain on w:June 14 w:1779.[3] The galaxy was then listed by w:Charles Messier as object 63 in the w:Messier Catalogue.

In the mid-1800s, w:Lord Rosse identified spiral structure within the galaxy, making this one of the first galaxies in which such structure was identified.[3]

Messier 63 seen in infrared by the w:Spitzer Space Telescope.

External links


  1. a b c d e f g "NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database". Results for NGC 5055. Retrieved 2006-10-10.
  2. Frommert, Hartmut & Kronberg, Christine (2002). "Messier Object 63". Retrieved Dec. 26, 2006
  3. a b K. G. Jones (1991). Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters (2nd edition ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37079-5. {{cite book}}: |edition= has extra text (help)