31/05/2012 12:00 BST | Updated 31/07/2012 06:12 BST

Nasa Image Of The Day: The Pinwheel Galaxy (PHOTOS)


A stunning image of the 'Pinwheel Galaxy', also known as M101, has been released by Nasa.

The photograph (above) combines data in the infrared, visible, ultraviolet and X-rays from four of its space-based telescopes.

Nasa said that the photo shows how young and old stars are evenly distributed along M101's "tightly-wound" spiral arms.

Composite images of this type allow scientists to compare different features which normally would not be visible together.

The Pinwheel Galaxy is in the constellation of Ursa Major and is roughly 70% larger than our own Milky Way Galaxy, Nasa said.

At roughly 21m light years from Earth it is beyond absurdly unlikely we'll ever get there - and also means the image is made by light which left the galaxy millions of years before humans existed.

Take a look at more such images in the gallery below.

59 Incredible Space Photos