NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer took this image of the spiral galaxy Messier 51 on June 19 and 20, 2003. Messier 51 is located 27 million light-years from Earth.

NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer took this image of the spiral galaxy Messier 51 on June 19 and 20, 2003. Messier 51 is located 27 million light-years from Earth. Due to a lack of star formation, the companion galaxy in the top of the picture is barely visible as a near ultraviolet object.

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer mission is led by the California Institute of Technology, which is also responsible for the science operations and data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., a division of Caltech, manages the mission and built the science instrument. The mission was developed under NASA's Explorers Program, managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The mission's international partners include South Korea and France.

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