Join Donate

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy (colorized)

M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy (colorized)

NASA / JPL / UMD / processed by Emily Lakdawalla

M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy (colorized)
On July 14, 2011, Deep Impact turned its Medium Resolution Imager toward M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, and took 65 photos. This image is composed of 12 frames, six each through clear and red filters. Both six-filter sets were stacked to reduce the noise from cosmic ray hits. To make the color image, the clear one was placed in the green channel. A bit of the clear image was mixed with the red image to make the red channel, and the red image was subtracted from the clear image to make the blue channel. Red dots appear all over the image because there is much more noise in the red-filter images than the clear-filter images.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder: Emily Lakdawalla

Original image data dated on or about July 14, 2011

Explore related images: BMSIL, pretty pictures, Deep Impact, data art (was amateur image processing), stars and galaxies

Comments & Sharing
More Images
Bill Nye and people
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan
Pretty Pictures

Support the Bruce Murray Space Image Library and help us share the wonders of other worlds.


"We're changing the world. Are you in?"
- CEO Bill Nye

I'm In!