This Hubble Space Telescope image shows, in stark detail, the bright "central bulge" of the Whirlpool Galaxy, where a storm of star birth is taking place.
Text identifies the image's features and traces the observation of this massive galaxy, since the late 1700s.
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows the stellar fireworks in the core of the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51. A ground-based image showing the companion galaxy believed to be responsible for much of the new star birth is also included. A labeled inset shows the regions described in the text.
Teachers can use this lithograph as:
An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the image side of the lithograph. Ask them to write down any questions they have about the image. When the students are finished, their questions can be used in a variety of ways:
A content reading tool. Have students read the back of the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.
A component in a compare/contrast activity. Have students compare the features/structure of this galaxy to those of the colliding galaxies found in the related materials below. A T-chart or Venn diagram would be a good organizational tool to use for this activity. Examples of Graphic Organizers are included in the related materials.
HubbleSite press release: "Hubble Reveals the Heart of the Whirlpool Galaxy"
HubbleSite press release: "Hubble Celebrates 15 Years of Spectacular Images"
Amazing Space resources by type: Graphic Organizers
Amazing Space resources by topic: Galaxies