How to find the Sunflower Galaxy, Messier 63

How to Find the Sunflower Galaxy, Messier 63

Sunflower galaxy Messier 63.jpg

This fantastic galaxy can be seen in the constellation of Canes Venatici and is well worth trying to find as it has an almost perfect shape to it.

Messier 63, the sunflower galaxy is a spiral galaxy found 37 million light years away. It was discovered by Mechain in June 1779 and was his first object. It is a flocculent spiral galaxy with multiple short arms. This makes a very beautiful object to view in the telescope with almost perfect symmetry. Although, you'll need an 8 inch telescope to see the spiral arms. It was however, the first galaxy to be identified to have a spiral structure.

Image credit: Jschulman555

Other Names:

Messier 63


NGC 5055

Telescope Image to Scale:

M63 from a telescope

This image is 30 arc minutes by 30 arcminutes which is about the size of the full moon.


Magnitude = 9.6

Surface Brightness = 13.5

Telescope Aperture City Suburbs Rural Dark Sky
4 inches 9 10 11 12.5
5 inches 9.5 10.5 11.5 13
6 inches 10 11 12 13.5
8 inches 10.5 11.5 12.5 14
10 inches 11 12 13 14.5

Use this chart to estimate if you can see the object from your location with your telescope. For more help on using this chart click here.

How to See It:

This fantastic galaxy can be found in Canes Venatici. However, you can use the more easily identifiable constellation of Ursa Major to help you locate it.  It's co-ordinates are: RA 13h 16m 26.07 DEC +41° 57′ 36.7″ if you are using guiding software.

How to find messier 63, the Sunflower galaxy

Please leave a comment if you find it to let me know.

To find more space objects have a look at the constellation guide by clicking the link or go back to the list of deep space objects.

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