Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici
Instrument: 12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform: Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera: SBIG 10XME NABG with Enhanced Cooling
Guider: SBIG ST4
Exposure: LRGB = 70:20:20:20 (RGB Binned 2x2)
RGB Combine Ratio: 1: 1.05: 1.3
Filters: AstroDon RGB Tricolor
Location: Payson, Arizona
Elevation: 5150 ft.
Sky: Seeing FWHM = 6.5 arcsec (Maxim DL - 10min subframe), Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature: 5 C
CCD Temperature: -20 C
Processing Tools: Maxim DL, Photoshop, PixInsight, RW Debloomer.
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are few objects in the sky as inspiring as the Whirlpool Galaxy.
Consisting of a face on Sa(s)s Pec class object, it is visibly
interacting with the very bizarre NGC5195 to its left, which
has been stripped of its blue stars completely. It is classed
as an IO Pec type, very unusual. M51 is a whopping 10 x 8 arcminutes
at 9th magnitude, and its companion is 5.8 arcminutes at 10.5
magnitude. Also note the proliferation of blue stellar associations
and pink HII regions in the spiral arms. The inclination of M51
has been measured from the radial velocity to be 1 degree.
A plethora of
background galaxies predominate this image. One of the most interesting
is IC4278, just below NGC5195 an usual type I galaxy and looking
very much like a streaking comets trail.