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M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy (also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194) is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy that is estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years from the Milky Way Galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is one of the most famous galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

What was later known as the Whirlpool Galaxy was discovered on October 13, 1773 by Charles Messier, and is designated as M51. Its companion galaxy, NGC 5195, was discovered in 1781 by Pierre Méchain. It was however not until 1845 that the Whirlpool became the first to be recognized as a spiral. This was achieved by Lord Rosse employing a 72-inch (~1.83 m) reflecting telescope which he constructed at Birr Castle, Ireland. Sometimes M51 is used to refer to the pair of galaxies, in which case the individual galaxies may be referred to as M51A (NGC 5194) and M51B (NGC 5195).

In 2005 a supernova (SN 2005cs) was observed in the Whirlpool Galaxy, peaking at apparent magnitude 14.

On 31 May 2011 a magnitude 13.5 type II supernova ( SN 2011dh) was detected in M51 at coordinates 13:30:05.08 +47:10:11.2.

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Taken on 04/29/2012

Orion ED80
Hap Griffin Modified Canon RebelXT 350D
49 90-second Exposures
ISO 800
Stacked with DeepSkyStacker
Processed with PhotoShop CS
Dars, Flats, and Offsets applied

Copyright © 2012 Antonio Pascarella
M51 Used exposures taken on 4/27/12 and 4/29/12 and combined them all.

Orion ED80
Hap Griffin Modified Canon RebelXT 350D
76 90-second Exposures
ISO 800
Stacked with DeepSkyStacker
Processed with PhotoShop CS
Dars, Flats, and Offsets applied

Copyright © 2012 Antonio Pascarella
     
  Taken on 04/27/2012

Orion ED80
Hap Griffin Modified Canon Rebel XT 350D
27 90-second Exposures
ISO 800
Stacked with DeepSkyStacker
Processed with PhotoShop CS
Darks, Flats, and Offsets applied

Copyright © 2012 Antonio Pascarella
M51   Taken on 7/2/2007
Processed on 3/31/2012

Orion ED80
Hap Griffin Modified Canon Rebel XT350D
26 60-second exposures
ISO 800
Stacked with DeepSkyStacker
Processed with PhotoShop CS
Darks, Flats, and Offsets applied
  My first M51

Equipment:  Orion ED80
Camera:  Unmodified Canon Rebel XT 350D
Prime Focus
30-30 seconds images
Darks, Flats, Offsets applied
ISO 800
Stacked with DeepSkyStacker
Processed with PhotoShop CS

© 2007 Antonio Pascarella

 

 

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