Haven’t been doing much deepsky recently but I took a shot at it last night as M51 is so well placed at the moment.

I love this object. Shows up it’s spiral structure from a dark site, even in my 90mm (3.5″) refractor. The shots were taken with a QHY6 mono ccd. Red, green and luminance taken one night and the blue channel a couple of weeks later.

Before the picture here is a bit of background info. It was discovered by Charles Messier in 1773 & is actually not one, but two galaxies in very very close proximity to each other. One of the spiral arms is deformed towards NGC 5195 (the smaller galaxy). The intense gravitational forces have compressed many pockets of gas kicking of massive areas of starbirth.

By the way, it was given the name Whirlpool when viewed by the Earl of Rosse in Birr, using his “Leviathan” scope – then the biggest scope in the world. It was classed as a nebula as galaxies were undiscovered at that time.

Enough babble, here’s the shot!

M51 - the Whirlpool Galaxy

There are no comments