Astrophotography by David Gares
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy


My Equipment
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy (Click to enlarge)

Object Details:
Object Type:  Spiral Galaxy
Constellation:  Canes Venatici
Distance:  Perhaps 37 million light-years
Diameter:  100,000 light-years

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy
M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, was the first galaxy discovered to exhibit a spiral structure.  Material appears to be flowing from M51 to its companion galaxy, NGC 5195.  This is believed to be caused by a close or grazing collision of the two galaxies.   Amazingly this object can be imaged in light-polluted skies with a nebula filter, and this view is better than I've ever seen it through the telescope.  But it doesn't compare to other images on the web.

Image Details:
Film Roll
Date:  April 10, 2004
Site:  Harahan, LA
Exposure:  CCD, 10 x 5 min., f/3.3 reducer
Filters:  Orion Skyglow (Broadband LPR)
Processing:  MSB Astroart 3.0
Telescope:  10" f/10 Meade LX200 SCT
Mount:  Milburn Wedge
CCD:  Starlight Express MX7C (Color)
Autoguider:  S.T.A.R. 2000