- Distance From Earth: 23.16 To 31 Million Lightyears
- Number Of Stars: 100 Billion
Other than the Milky Way, it is likely the Whirlpool Galaxy is the most well-known for us Earthlings. It happens to be between 20 to 30 million lightyears away from Earth. However, we can see it with basic binoculars. It’s so beautiful that it is considered literally a “grand design spiral galaxy.” These are galaxies with well-defined arms that clearly extend around the galaxy with many radians. Only 10% of all known galaxies are like this. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also so large it interacts with another galaxy. The nearby NGC 5195 dwarf galaxy is called Whirlpool’s “companion.” They interact but don’t disturb the other.
Depending on the exact distance, those alien worlds in Whirlpool could see an interestingly developing Earth. About 34 million years ago, Gondwanaland finished breaking apart. This meant Australia and South America completely separated from Antarctica. The big guy took it pretty hard, as this land then became covered in ice as it moved further south by 24 million years ago. Interestingly, during this same timeframe, grasslands began to form. This was incredibly important as new species would pop up and rule the grasslands just a few million years later.