Alt. Designations: NGC 5055, Sunflower Galaxy
Object Type: Spiral Galaxy
Constellation: Canes Venatici
Distance: 37 mly
Right Ascension: 13h 15m 49.0s
Declination: +42° 01´ 59"
Visual Magnitude: 8.6
Apparent Dimension: 12.6´ x 7.2´
Best Month To View: Apr

Located within in the constellation of Canes Venatici is M63, a spiral galaxy also known as the Sunflower Galaxy. It earned this name due to its sunflower-like appearance. It was originally discovered in 1779 by Messier's friend, Pierre Mechain. This galaxy is located about 37 million light-years from Earth, and is part of a group of galaxies that includes M51. A good telescope and optimal sky conditions will reveal the galaxy's spiral arms as a grainy background that brightens considerably towards its center. Color photos of this galaxy show star-forming regions throughout its spiral arms.