Hubble Tuesdays: Grand Design

Some Hubble pictures are almost like looking at clouds, they take their shape from your imagination and it is possible to see things like giant sombreros and the eye of God. But some pictures are different. They are like peeking at the design of the universe, or at least one small part of it. Galaxy M51 is shaped like a whirlpool with two spiraling arms that cosmologically perform the function of star-formation factories. Out of this stellar whirlwind of dust and gas stars are born. At this distance, we can see the grand design and its easy beauty belies the titanic forces at work forging these great engines of light that trail out from its center in a majestic spiral.

In this picture, I can imagine God at work, not as an artist painting the landscape of the earth, but as a blacksmith forging the universe with awesome power and purpose.

Whirlpool galaxy and companion

You can access the larger images here.