Are the red dots in the Whirlpool Galaxy individual red supergiants?

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In summary, the red dots seen in the galaxy photo are actually H-II regions, which are large clouds of ionized hydrogen gas caused by hot young stars. These regions are much larger than individual stars and can be found in many galaxies, including our own.
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swampwiz
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I was looking at a photo of this galaxy, and noticed a bunch of red dots in it. Could it be that these dots are individual red supergiants?

(I used the photo at the Wikipedia article for reference.)
 
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No. The red dots are H-II regions, which are large clouds of hydrogen gas which have been ionized by hot young stars embedded in them. They are much larger than individual stars.
 
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phyzguy said:
No. The red dots are H-II regions, which are large clouds of hydrogen gas which have been ionized by hot young stars embedded in them. They are much larger than individual stars.
Yes, exactly ... those types of red patches can be seen in many galaxies, including our own one
 

Related to Are the red dots in the Whirlpool Galaxy individual red supergiants?

1. What are red supergiants?

Red supergiants are massive, luminous stars that are in the late stages of their evolution. They are typically larger than the sun and have surface temperatures between 3,000 and 4,000 Kelvin, giving them a reddish appearance.

2. How far away is the Whirlpool Galaxy?

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51, is approximately 23 million light years away from Earth. This means that the light we see from the galaxy today has been traveling for 23 million years to reach us.

3. What causes the red color in the Whirlpool Galaxy?

The red color in the Whirlpool Galaxy is caused by the presence of red supergiants. These stars have cooler surface temperatures compared to other stars, giving off a reddish hue.

4. How many red supergiants are in the Whirlpool Galaxy?

The exact number of red supergiants in the Whirlpool Galaxy is not known, but it is estimated that there are hundreds of them. These stars can be difficult to detect and count due to their distance and the presence of other stars in the galaxy.

5. Are all the red dots in the Whirlpool Galaxy red supergiants?

Not all the red dots in the Whirlpool Galaxy are red supergiants. The galaxy contains a variety of stars, including red supergiants, blue supergiants, and main sequence stars. However, the presence of red supergiants is significant due to their size and role in the galaxy's evolution.

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