M51 or NGC 5194 is a mag 8.4 (visual) spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici. It is accompanied
by its interacting neighbor, NGC 5195 clearly visible at the top of the image. It is
estimated at 37 million light years distance.
It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1773. This galaxy is the first one where spiral
structure was observed (by Lord Rosse in 1845) and is sometimes named for him. Note
the extensive blue star forming regions in the main spiral, but how few there are in the
Date: Mar 23,Apr 3,14,15, 2008
Location: New Ringgold PA
Optics: Meade LX200R 12 inch at f/10
Mount: Paramount ME
Camera: SBIG ST-8XME / CFW-8
Guiding: ST-8XME integral guiding chip controlled by Maxim CCD
Exposure: LRGB: Luminance: 14x10 minutes unbinned; RGB: 5 each binned 2x2 - 8 min
for R,G, and 9 min for B.
Processing: Image acquisition using CCD Autopilot. Initial processing was done using
Maxim DL with subsequent processing with Photoshop.
Blue Mountain Vista Observatory New RInggold PA
M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy