M51- The Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

The above image is my latest version of the famous Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)in the constellation Canes Venatici.   This version was taken on 4 May 2008 through a William Optics FLT 110, 4.3" refractor telescope, with an SXV-H9 camera.   20-second subexposures were stacked to create a 116 minute equivalent exposure which shows fine detail and many smaller more distant background galaxies.   M51 (NGC 5194) is the larger, grand design, spiral galaxy.   It is connected to a smaller galaxy, NGC 5195, to the north in this image and the two are interacting.

M51 is an Sc-type spiral galaxy at a distance of approximately 37 million light years from Earth.   This was the first galaxy in which spiral structure was noted as Lord Rosse accurately painted it in 1845.   More information about M51 can be found at SEDS - The Messier Index - M51.

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy with Supernova SN2005CS

The above image of M51 shows Bright Supernovae - SN2005CS.       The image is a 19.25 minute exposure through a 10" f/6.3 Meade LX-6 SCT and an SXV-H9 CCD camera taken on 6 July 2005.     Supernova SN2005CS (highlighted in the image below) was discovered several days earlier on 28 June 2005.

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy with Supernova SN2005CS

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy with Supernova SN2005CS


M51 Whirlpool Galaxy with companion galaxy NGC 5195 and Supernova SN2005CS

0bject Type

Sc-type spiral galaxy

0bject Distance

37 million Light Years
Date/Time 0401-0539UT 10 July 2005
Exposure Luminance 28 minute (unguided 15 and 30 second integrations, unbinned)
Camera SXV-H9
Telescope Meade 10" f/6.3 on Losmandy G-11
Guiding unguided
Processing History Collected with Astroart; AIP4WIN - Track & Stack, Noise filter applied, deviation = 1.4, Prescaled by 10,Resampled 2X, Linear scaled, Lo = 0, Hi=1, Stack of 67 images, -4676 added; R-L Deconv, Blur = Gaussian, Rad = 4.0, NR = 0.5, Iter. = 10, Only high-frequency components processed during deconvolution; Gamma-Log scaled, Min = 214, Max =65534, Gamma-Log = 0.35; Gaussian unsharp mask applied, radius = 2.0, contrast = 1.5; Paintshop Pro - Brightness and contrast adjusted
Further Information Supernova SN2005CS - Bright Supernovae - SN2005CS;     M51 - SEDS - The Messier Index - M51.

For comparison, the below image shows M51 on 15 June 1997. This older image is a 340-second composite of 34, 10-second subexposures obtained with a Cookbook CB245 CCD camera at the prime focus of a 16" f/4.5 Newtonian.

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

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