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A universe of galaxies!

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The Whirlpool galaxy, shown here, is an example of a classic spiral galaxy. At only 30 million light years distant and fully 60,000 light years across, M51, also known as NGC 5194, is among the brightest and most picturesque galaxies on the sky. This image is a digital combination of a ground-based image from the 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory and a space-based image from the Hubble Space Telescope highlighting sharp features normally too red to be seen.

PHOTO: NASA/Hubble/Reuters

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