M100 Coma Berenise

A beautiful example of a grand-design spiral galaxy, and one of the brightest galaxies in the southern part of constellation Coma Berenices. M100 is a spiral galaxy, like our Milky Way, and tilted nearly face-on as seen from earth. It is among the first spirals that have been discovered, and listed by Lord Rosse as one of 14 "spiral nebulae" discovered to 1850. The galaxy has two prominent arms of bright blue stars and several fainter arms. The blue stars in the arms are young hot and massive stars which formed recently from density perturbations caused by interactions with neighboring galaxies which are lying just outside our image. Despite its nearly perfect symmetric outline, this galaxy appears slightly asymmetric, as on the southern (lower) side of the nucleus more (or brighter) young stars have formed.

8" Meade SCT LX200 with Orion ED80 autoguider; imaged using Canon Rebel, 3 x 10 min exposures, ISO 400. Darks and flats subtracted.