The Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M101, is a spiral galaxy that measures 170,000 lightyears across and is located 25 million lightyears away from Earth in the Ursa Major constellation.
The galaxy is about twice the diameter of our own galaxy the Milky Way and is thought to contain about 1 trillion stars.
Images of the Pinwheel Galaxy show a predominance of scorching hot young stars glowing bright blue within the arms of the spiral galaxy.
These regions are subject to intense bursts of star formation among the cosmic dust and gas, within molecular hydrogen clouds.
The Pinwheel Galaxy was discovered by Perre Méchain, a colleague of Charles Messier, in 1781, and Messier eventually included it in his famous Messier Catalogue of deep-sky objects.
Below is a selection of some of the best pictures of the Pinwheel Galaxy captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers around the world.
If you would like to try and observe the Pinwheel or photograph it for yourself, it is best seen in the northern hemisphere in April and can be observed through a small telescope.
For more astrophotography, read our astrophotography guides or discover our pick of the best astrophotography cameras.
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