M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy
M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy

This it the magnificent M51 The WhirlPool Galaxy.  Spring is traditionally galaxy season for visual and imaging astronomers.  Thought I’d take advantage of the warmer weather and capture what I could.  Maybe more pics will follow with galaxies from traditional hunting ground of Leo and Coma Berenice.  M51 The Whirlpool Galaxy is a grand design spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici and was the first galaxy where spiral structure was discovered.  Probably easier to locate under the last star (Alkaid) in the handle of the Plough (Big Dipper to Americans) M51 is interacting with the smaller companion galaxy of NGC 5195 and thought to be approximately 31-37 million light years distant.  There are at least two other faint fuzzies (galaxies) in this photo although they are easier seen if you invert the photo.  6 x 120 seconds luminance and 3 x 120 seconds of each RGB.

Image © Copyright of Nick Cook.

Author

Nick Cook. Amateur astronomer, space, history, nerd, extreme dog walker, cat slave, severe tinnitus sufferer. 13.7 billion years in the making - not that much better for it.

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