M51 Whirlpool Galaxy

Higher resolution image

Image information:

Date: 06/16/2007
Equipment: SBIG ST2000XM with CFW8a and Astronomik type 2c LRGB filter set through WO ZS105ED telescope on Losmandy GM8 mount. WO ZS105ED working at f7.
Image type: LRGB
Exposure time: 11X6min Luminance binned 1X1, RG&B 6X4min each binned 2X2.

Object information:

Object designations:

M51, NGC5194 (M51A) + NGC5195 (M51B), Whirlpool Galaxy
Object type:
Pair of interacting galaxies
Object size:
11' X 7'
Constellation: Canes Venatici

M51 is a large spiral galaxy NGC5194 which is interacting with a much smaller neighbor NGC5195. Spiral structure of the Whirlpool has been influenced by the gravity of the smaller companion. That has distorted spiral arms and created huge areas of compressed hydrogen gas resulting in development of extensive starbirth regions.

M51 is the dominant member of a small group of galaxies that also includes the Sunflower Galaxy (M63) and half a dozen other smaller systems. Whirlpool is 30000 kly distant and it spans some 50000 ly.

In the lower right corner of the image you can also see spiral galaxy IC4263.

Related images:

List of related images: