M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 – Whirlpool Galaxy

M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, was discovered in 1773 by Charles Messier and is a “grand design” spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici at a distance of between 15-35 million light years. M51 interacts with a nearby dwarf galaxy NGC 5195. The companion galaxy was first observed in 1781 by Pierre Mechain. Three supernovae have been observed in M51 in 1994, 2005, and 2011. M51 shines at an apparent magnitude of 8.4. Several more distant galaxies including IC 4277, IC4278, PGC2294282, and PGC2292105 are also visible as faint “smudges”. These galaxies are estimated to be over 200 million light years away at magnitudes 15-18.

  • Date – 24/31 March, 21 April 2018
  • Location – Backyard
  • Telescope – Meade 8” SCT @ f/7 (1397 focal length)
  • Camera – ASI1600MM-C @ -15C
  • Guiding – Orion Starshoot Autoguider w/ST80
  • Mount – Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G
  • Pixel Scale – 0.56″/pixel
  • Exposures (Gain 0, Offset 50)
    • Luminance: 75x180s
    • Red: 15x300s
    • Green: 15x300s
    • Blue: 15x300s
    • H-Alpha (Gain 200): 25x180s
    • Total integration: 8.75 hours
  • Processing – PixInsight
 


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