M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy


The Whirlpool Galaxy, M51 also catalogued as NGC5194 is a fine example of a face-on spiral galaxy. It is a near neighbour of our own Milky Way being just 15 million light years away. It is some 50,000 light years across in the constellation of Canes Venatici quite close to the tail of Ursa Major (Plough).

This picture was taken as a trial of a new set of Astrodon LRGB filters recently purchased through a Megrez 90 telescope which gives a very wide view of this object. The lower picture is a 100% crop from the one above which is reduced in size to fit the screen. The camera used was an Atik 460EX.

There only 5 subs each of 300s in all of RGB and 5 subs of 400s of Ha blended in with the red to enhance the star forming regions. The above image was taken on the evening of 26 January 2014. Cloud prevented any more sub exposures.