M51 (also known as The Whirlpool galaxy, or NGC 5194) is an interacting, grand-design, spiral galaxy located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is one of the most famous galaxies in the sky.  The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understanding of galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.  The Whirlpool Galaxy, was discovered in 1774 by Charles Messier. Its companion galaxy, NGC 5195, was discovered in 1781 by Pierre M├ęchain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messier_51

 

ABOUT THE IMAGE

DATE/TIME:  The evenings of April 7th-14th, 2013.

CAMERA:  Canon XSI, 450Da

TELESCOPE:  Celestron C9.25 SCT @ F/10

ISO SETTING:  800

EXPOSURES:  24

EXPOSURE LENGTH:  10min.

TOTAL EXPOSURE LENGTH:  4 hrs.

SUBTRACTIONS:  40 darkframes, 10 bias frames

CAPTURE SOFTWARE:  MaximDL

STACKING SOFTWARE:  Deep Sky Stacker

PROCESSING:  Photoshop CS3

 

 

 

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