The Whirlpool Galaxy is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus. It lies in the constellation Canes Venatici, and was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Its distance is estimated to be 31 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy has been extensively observed by professional astronomers, who study it to understand galaxy structure and galaxy interactions.
Kitt Peak National Observatory supports the most diverse collection of astronomical observatories, and is located 56 miles southwest of Tucson, AZ, in the Schuk Toak District on the Tohono O'odham Nation. It has a Visitor Center open daily to the public.
Photographers: Ruben Salinas & James Winsky
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Nebula)