M51 on 01-09-2008

Done with my 17.5 inch scope and SBIG ST-9E CCD camera

Spiral Galaxy M51 (NGC 5194), type Sc, in Canes Venatici 

The Whirlpool Galaxy 

The famous Whirlpool galaxy M51 was one of Messier's original discoveries: He discovered it on October 13, 1773, when observing a comet. Its companion, NGC 5195, was discovered in 1781 by his friend, Mechain. Mechain wrote in his 1784 catalog: "It is double, each has a bright center, which are separated by 4'35". NGC 5195 was also assigned its own number by William Herschel: 186 H I. 

M51 is the dominating member of a small group of galaxies. The group is approximately 37 million light years distant. This galaxy was the first one where the spiral structure was discovered (Lord Rosse, 1845, who made a very careful and acurate painting). In 1994, a supernova (1994I) was discovered in M51, by the Atlanta amateur astronomers Jerry Armstrong and Tim Puckett. 

Right ascension 13 hours 27.8 minutes
Declination +47 degrees 27 minutes
Distance 37 million light years
Visual magnitude 8.1 



OBJECT = M51
TELESCOPE = 17.5 inch f3.23
CAMERA = ST7-E 
OBSERVER = Rusty Fletcher 
LOCATION = Seguin Outdoor Learning Center 
DATE (Yr-Mo-Dy) = 2004-12-11
TIME (UT) = 11:21:03
TOTAL EXPOSURE = 1150 sec
IMAGES STACKED = 23



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