M51 = NGC5194 + NGC5195 ( 13h 29.9m +47°12´, 8.1 mag. )
Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici was discovered by Messier in Oct. 1773. This pair of interacting galaxies 15 million ly away consists of a beautiful spiral NGC5194 and an iregularly shaped (disrupted) NGC5195. Spiral arm of the former were first noticed by Lord Rosse. Long exposures reveal faint halo of ejected material around smaller galaxy. M51 can be found in binoculars about 3°30' SW of the end of Big Dipper's handle (h Ursae Majoris - see finder chart below).
Integration used to assemble the abobe image of M51 were taken on April 16 and 26, 1998 and April 21, 1999 from Sooke, BC using Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera on Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope, autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. It is composed of unfiltered and -IR (white) filtered integrations (8 x 240 sec. each) as well as cyan-filtered (5 x 240 sec.), magenta-filtered (5 x 240 sec.) and yellow-filtered (6 x 240 sec. each) exposures combined using AIP4WIN. Color image was then re-processed in Lab color space using Corel PhotoPaint 8. Two distant galaxies are also visible in the same field.
North is to the right.
Map created in Guide 7.0 - 7°45' x 7°45'. North is up.
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© Jan Wisniewski