This image of the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51) was taken by GALEX on June 19th and 20th 2003. This picture is a combination of GALEX images taken with the FUV (colored blue) and NUV detectors (colored red).
M51 has a close companion galaxy to the North that is only just visible in the NUV detector and so looks faint and red in this image. This indicates that there is very little star formation occurring in the companion galaxy.
The red stars in this image are foreground stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.
From the GALEX Image Gallery
Last Modification: December 19, 2003