The Most Beautiful Galaxy: Reveling in Celestial Splendor

Choose the Galaxy you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Jun 16, 2023 10:17 (Updated on Dec 3, 2023 05:41)
Welcome stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts! Here at StrawPoll, we've embarked on an intergalactic journey to discover the most beautiful galaxies in the cosmos. Our universe is filled with mesmerizing celestial bodies, and we need your help to rank them. From the enchanting spirals of the Andromeda Galaxy to the mystifying swirls of the Whirlpool Galaxy, we've gathered the most awe-inspiring cosmic marvels for you to explore and vote for your favorite. So, strap on your space boots and prepare to embark on an astronomical adventure that transcends the boundaries of space and time. Don't see your beloved galaxy on our list? No worries! You can suggest a missing option and help us unveil the hidden gems of the universe. Join us now in unveiling the celestial masterpiece that is the most beautiful galaxy and let your voice be heard in the cosmic symphony of the stars!

What Is the Most Beautiful Galaxy?

  1. 1

    Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

    Natural phenomenon
    Andromeda Galaxy - considered one of the most beautiful galaxies due to its size, brightness, and proximity to our own Milky Way. It is also one of the most studied galaxies in astronomy.
    The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is a stunning spiral galaxy located about 2.537 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Andromeda. It is the closest major galaxy to the Milky Way and is named after the constellation it resides in. The Andromeda Galaxy is not only visually captivating but also holds great scientific importance.
    • Type: Spiral
    • Distance from Earth: 2.537 million light-years
    • Constellation: Andromeda
    • Mass: 1.5 trillion solar masses
    • Diameter: Approximately 220,000 light-years
  2. 2
    Whirlpool Galaxy - known for its stunning spiral arms and the interaction between its two merging galaxies, which has created many bright star-forming regions.
    The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) is a stunning spiral galaxy located approximately 23 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is known for its beautiful spiral arms and its interaction with a smaller companion galaxy, which has triggered intense star formation in the main galaxy. The collision between the two galaxies has caused dust and gas to be compressed, leading to the creation of numerous new stars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is a popular target for amateur astronomers and has been extensively studied by professional astronomers due to its proximity and unique features.
    • Type: Spiral galaxy
    • Distance from Earth: Approximately 23 million light-years
    • Constellation: Canes Venatici
    • Size: Approximately 60,000 light-years in diameter
    • Mass: Estimated to be around 160 billion solar masses
  3. 3
    Sombrero Galaxy is a beautiful galaxy with a distinct, dark dust lane across its center, resembling a sombrero hat.
    The Sombrero Galaxy (M104) is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation Virgo. It is known for its distinctive shape, resembling a sombrero hat, hence the name. With a prominent bulge in the center and a prominent dark dust lane encircling it, the Sombrero Galaxy stands out among other galaxies in the universe.
    • Type: Spiral galaxy
    • Constellation: Virgo
    • Distance from Earth: Approximately 28 million light-years
    • Apparent Magnitude: 8.99
    • Diameter: Approximately 50,000 light-years
  4. 4

    Pinwheel Galaxy (M101)

    Pierre Méchain
    Pinwheel Galaxy is named for its striking spiral arms, which resemble a pinwheel. It is also a relatively nearby galaxy, making it a popular target for amateur astronomers.
    The Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M101, is a breathtaking spiral galaxy located about 21 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major. It was first discovered by the French astronomer Pierre Méchain in 1781. Spanning approximately 170,000 light-years in diameter, this stunning galaxy has a distinct pinwheel-like appearance, hence its popular name. M101 showcases beautiful spiral arms filled with bright regions of intense star formation, along with vast lanes of dust and gas.
    • Type: Spiral galaxy
    • Distance from Earth: Approximately 21 million light-years
    • Constellation: Ursa Major
    • Diameter: Approximately 170,000 light-years
    • Discovery Year: 1781
  5. 5
    Triangulum Galaxy (M33)
    NASA/JPL-Caltech · Public domain

    Triangulum Galaxy (M33)

    Natural formation
    Triangulum Galaxy is a smaller, nearby galaxy with beautiful spiral arms and many young, hot stars. It is also known for its large H II regions, where new stars are actively forming.
    The Triangulum Galaxy (M33) is a spiral galaxy located approximately 3 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Triangulum. With a visual magnitude of 5.7, it is one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye. The galaxy's structure consists of a central bulge surrounded by dusty spiral arms, containing numerous bright star-forming regions and H II regions. M33 is smaller than both the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Milky Way, but it is still the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies.
    • Distance from Earth: 3 million light-years
    • Visual magnitude: 5.7
    • Constellation: Triangulum
    • Structure: Spiral galaxy with a central bulge and dusty spiral arms
    • Features: Bright star-forming regions and H II regions
  6. 6

    Cigar Galaxy (M82)

    Johann Elert Bode
    Cigar Galaxy is a beautiful, active starburst galaxy with intense star formation and many bright, young stars. It is also known for its prominent dust lanes and jets of gas shooting out from its center.
    The Cigar Galaxy (M82) is a stunning galaxy located approximately 12 million light-years away from Earth. Its name comes from its peculiar elongated shape, resembling a cigar. M82 was discovered by the German astronomer Johann Elert Bode in 1774 and is classified as an irregular galaxy.
    • Distance from Earth: Approximately 12 million light-years
    • Shape: Elongated, resembling a cigar
    • Classification: Irregular galaxy
    • Discovery year: 1774
    • RA (Right Ascension): 09h 55m 52.2s
  7. 7
    Antennae Galaxies is a pair of interacting galaxies with striking tidal tails and many bright, young star clusters. Their interaction has sparked intense star formation and a galaxy-wide burst of activity.
    The Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038/NGC 4039) is a pair of interacting galaxies located approximately 45 million light-years away in the constellation Corvus. This captivating galactic collision is the result of a close encounter between two spiral galaxies, which has caused their arms and structures to become stretched and distorted.
    • Distance from Earth: Approximately 45 million light-years
    • Constellation: Corvus
    • Type: Interacting galaxies
    • Size: Each galaxy about 70,000 light-years across
    • Visual magnitude: NGC 4038: 10.7, NGC 4039: 11.1
  8. 8

    Sunflower Galaxy (M63)

    Pierre Méchain
    Sunflower Galaxy is a beautiful, face-on spiral galaxy with striking, bright arms and a prominent dust lane across its center. It is also known for its many star-forming regions and bright, young stars.
    The Sunflower Galaxy (M63), also known as Messier 63 or NGC 5055, is a stunning spiral galaxy located in the constellation Canes Venatici. It gets its name from its bright, striking spiral arms that resemble the petals of a sunflower. The galaxy is approximately 37 million light-years away from Earth and was first discovered by Pierre Méchain in 1779.
    • Type: SAB(rs)bc
    • Distance from Earth: Approximately 37 million light-years
    • Apparent Magnitude: 9.3
    • Equatorial Diameter: 58,700 light-years
    • Number of Stars: Estimated between 100 billion and 400 billion stars
  9. 9
    Tadpole Galaxy is a beautiful, irregular galaxy with a long, curved tail of gas and stars, resembling a tadpole. It is also known for its many bright, young star clusters and regions of intense star formation.
    The Tadpole Galaxy (UGC 10214) is a stunning spiral galaxy located approximately 420 million light-years away in the constellation Draco. It acquired its name due to its peculiar shape resembling a tadpole or a lone spermatozoon.
    • Distance: 420 million light-years
    • Type: Spiral galaxy
    • Constellation: Draco
    • Shape: Tadpole-like
    • Mass: Unknown
  10. 10

    Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253)

    Caroline Herschel
    Sculptor Galaxy is a beautiful, edge-on spiral galaxy with prominent dust lanes and many bright, young stars. It is also known for its strong radio emissions and active star formation.
    The Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) is a stunning spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Sculptor. It is also known as the Silver Coin or the Silver Dollar Galaxy due to its disc-like appearance. This galaxy was first discovered by the British astronomer Caroline Herschel in 1783.
    • Type: Spiral
    • Distance from Earth: approximately 11.4 million light-years
    • Diameter: about 70,000 light-years
    • Mass: around 10 billion times that of the Sun
    • Shape: elongated and slightly warped

Missing your favorite Galaxy?


Ranking factors for beautiful galaxy

  1. Color
    The distribution and intensity of colors in the galaxy plays a crucial role in its beauty, as different colors can create striking contrasts and visual appeal.
  2. Structure
    The overall shape and structure of the galaxy, such as its spiral arms or elliptical form, can contribute to its beauty. A well-defined structure often looks more appealing than irregular or chaotic formations.
  3. Brightness and luminosity
    Brightness and luminosity can enhance the beauty of a galaxy by making it more eye-catching and visible in the night sky.
  4. Star density and distribution
    The number of stars in the galaxy and their arrangement can influence its attractiveness. A galaxy with many stars and interesting star formations may be considered more beautiful than one with fewer stars.
  5. Nebulae and cosmic dust
    The presence of striking nebulae and cosmic dust patterns can contribute to the overall beauty of a galaxy, creating a visually compelling scene.
  6. Uniqueness
    A galaxy with unique characteristics or features can also be more intriguing and visually appealing than one that appears similar to many other galaxies.
  7. Size
    The size of the galaxy can impact its beauty, with larger galaxies often appearing more majestic and awe-inspiring.
  8. Interaction with other celestial objects
    A galaxy's beauty can be enhanced by its interactions with neighboring galaxies, star clusters, or other celestial objects, creating visually stunning scenes of cosmic collisions or mergers.
  9. Age
    The age of a galaxy can influence its beauty, as older galaxies may have experienced more events and transformations throughout their history, making them more visually interesting.
  10. Scientific significance
    A galaxy's scientific importance, such as its role in helping astronomers understand the universe, can also contribute to its perceived beauty.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful galaxy. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Galaxy is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 171 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Galaxy once every 24 hours. The rank of each Galaxy is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

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More information on most beautiful galaxy

The universe is a vast and beautiful place, with countless galaxies and celestial bodies to explore. While every galaxy has its own unique characteristics and beauty, there are some that stand out as particularly stunning. From the spiral arms of the Milky Way to the shimmering colors of the Andromeda galaxy, there is no shortage of breathtaking sights to behold. Whether you are an amateur astronomer or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of the cosmos, exploring the most beautiful galaxies is an experience like no other. Join us as we take a closer look at some of the most stunning galaxies in the universe.

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