M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy, NGC 5194)

Telescope: Planewave 17" CDK reflector, 1940 mm FL
Drawing by William Parsons, Spiral form first recognized, 1845 Lord Rosse M51 drawing
Camera: FLI-PL6303E, 3072 x 2048 pixels
Exposure: 7 x 4 minutes+5 x 10 minutes luminance, 10 x 3 each RGB, HA data from Bill Synder. Seeing 1.7" FWHM. Processed with StarTools and Photoshop.
Location: Mayhill, New Mexico (Elevation 7380')
Image Center (J2000): RA 13h 29m 53s, Dec 47° 12' 01"

Interacting grand-design spiral galaxy. The smaller galaxy, NGC 5195 is behind the larger M51 as can be discerned by the dark clouds of dust in one of M51's spiral arms silhouetted against NGC 5195. A result of the gravitational interaction is the throwing off of material from the galaxies seen in this image as faint nebula extending away from the galaxies. M51's spiral arms are dotted by many H-II regions, imaged to about 22nd magnitude and resolved almost to the galaxy's core. Extensively studied and one of the most imaged targets for Hubble. In 1845 this was the first object to be classified as a Spiral. Apparent size 11' x 6', mag 8.6. Very small edge-on galaxy just above and left is IC 4277 mag 15.7. Galaxy at bottom right is IC 4263 at mag 14.5.
Raw data for this image can be downloaded.


M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy,  NGC 5194), Interacting grand-design spiral galaxy. The smaller galaxy, NGC 5195 is behind the larger M51 as can be discerned by the dark clouds of dust in one of M51's spiral arms silhouetted against NGC 5195. A result of the gravitational interaction is the throwing off of material from the galaxies seen in this image as faint nebula extending away from the galaxies. M51's spiral arms are dotted by many H-II regions, imaged to about 22nd magnitude and resolved almost to the galaxy's core. Extensively studied and one of the most imaged targets for Hubble. In 1845 this was the first object to be classified as a Spiral. Apparent size 11' x 6', mag 8.6. Very small edge-on galaxy just above and left is IC 4277 mag 15.7. Galaxy at bottom right is IC 4263 at mag 14.5., acquired with a remote telescope at Mayhill, New Mexico (Elevation 7380')

Object Label Identifier Notes
Galaxy G1 2MASX J13294019+4720147 Galaxy, mV=18.0, z=0.159661
Galaxy IC 4277 IC 4277 Galaxy
Galaxy IC 4278 IC 4278 Galaxy
Galaxy NGC 5195 NGC 5195 Galaxy, mV=9.55

Click on the image to display the plate solved image with annotations. 5' across M51 is about 33,000 light years. This processing for this image is detailed in a StarTools processing tutorial.