Center of the Whirlpool Galaxy
The galaxy's massive center, the bright ball of light in the center of the photograph, is about 80 light-years across and has a brightness of about 100 million suns. Astronomers estimate that it has a mass 40 million times larger than our Sun. The concentration of stars is about 5,000 times higher than in our solar neighborhood, the Milky Way Galaxy. We would see a continuously bright sky if we lived near the bright center.