M51 (Whirlpool galaxy)


I managed to get the scope out for some observing a couple weeks back and was treated to some fantastic skies…Yaaaaaay!!!!!!!.The temps were were seasonable and in the mid to upper 20s F with calm winds.I was going to use my DSLR again but,since the temps were half way decent I used the Meade DSI instead.My thought was that I was going to image the comet with the DSI but,realised that it was directly over head which is good for imaging.Problem is,my scope will give me a alert that the OTA will come into contact with the tripod so,that idea quickly vanished.
Knowing that their are lots of other faint fuzzies to be seen I decided on observing/imaging Messier object #51 a.k.a the Whirlpool galaxy.As many of you know,observing this object from light polluted skies is next to impossible?!.In recent posts I have mentioned how different the skies are from my new location compared to the street observing I was used to.Well,M51 was a object that I had never seen with my scope but,still managed to image anyway.This observing night was well worth the time consuming task of setup and alignment (hope to build…or buy a observatory in the near future! ;p ) and the hoots of a distant Owl seemed like a approval for my decision.Hahahahahaha,actually it was a unsettling sound which made me think of a scene from some horror flick.I had a fantastic view of M51 which,appeared as a faint fuzzy gray patch.That was until I got the DSI centered and focused on it.WOW!!!.This galaxy suddenly went from fuzzy to showing alot of detail including the bridge of gas that is being ripped from it’s companion NGC 5195.
Because of numerous reasons i.e foul weather,work and family health reasons, I haven’t had a lot of time to really get to know the workings of the DSI or find the proper settings that work for my style of imaging…heh,ok I don’t have a style! ๐Ÿ™‚ .So,if you see a problem with any of my images and know the solution to fix them,feel quite free to give me a friendly heads up.
Located in the constellation Canes Venatici,M51 (Whirlpool galaxy) isย  60,000 light-years across and about 31 million light-years distant.It can be seen not far from the handle of the Big dipper which puts it quite high in the sky in northern latitudes and has a visual mag of +8.4 .
According to the SEDS,M51 is easy and a showpiece if the sky is dark, but is quite sensitive for light pollution which easily makes it fade in the background. Under very good conditions, even suggestions of its spiral arms can be glanced with telescopes starting from 4-inch. Low magnification is best for viewing this pair.
RA 13 : 29.9 (h:m) DEC +47 : 12 (deg:m)
Image credit :Andrew
Imformation credit: www.seds.org/

deep-sky50-copyu-copy

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8 Responses to “M51 (Whirlpool galaxy)”

  1. Man, that’s a great photo. I never realised digital could take such pics (due to the presumably long exposure). Nice one!

  2. This article has been added to the Astronomy Link List.

  3. great shots man! I havent been on in awhile, my apartment burned down like two weeks ago, I hope you are doing great!

  4. Hi !

    I was glad to find your astronomy site https://bongo69.wordpress.com as I was wandering through the blogosphere of Astronomy. Since I also share the astronomy field (I am an amateur astronomer from Sri Lanka), I could literally obtain a great knowledge from your pages. I appreciate the time and efforts that you have taken to build up the blog into such a higher standard.

    I am happy to inform you that I also maintain an astronomy blog, especially dedicated to IYA 2009 at http://iya2009sl.blogspot.com. I update the periodic IYA 2009 and astronomy happenings in Sri Lanka in addition to providing visitors a worldwide scope on IYA 2009 and Astronomy news.

    In order to provide my visitors more information and knowledge, I decided to connect with your valuable and resourceful blog https://bongo69.wordpress.com Therefore I want to get your permission to put your link on my blog.

    Meantime I would be obliged if you could put a link from your blog to my blog in return. This will also let me to have more audience at the same time.

    As I mentioned above my link is http://iya2009sl.blogspot.com and I’m waiting for your reply to be informed about the issue.

    Thank you very much for your time amidst busy schedules.
    I take this opportunity to wish you all the best for your career and future endeavors!

    Yours sincerely,

    J D Prasanna Deshapriya

  5. Thanks “On the money” ๐Ÿ™‚
    The image was taken with a Meade DSI (Deep sky imager).

  6. Thank you Jared !.Hope all is well after your apartment fire?!.At least you got out safe!!!.
    You have my cell # so feel free to give me a call!!!.

  7. J D Prasanna Deshapriya,I would be glad to put the link to your site on my blog and feel free to do the same with mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ .
    Clear skies!!!

  8. I stumbled across your blog by way of Clear Sky Charts. I am an amateur astronomer and ex professional telescope operator from Los Angeles now located in Lebanon. Recently I found a great observing site 17 mile north of where I live in a Bortle Blue zone…Post Pond. But the weather here in New England blows chunks as it is cloudy and overcast way too much. I joined the NHAS but it seems to me the focus of that group is in the SE section of the state where the majority of the population lives. Send me an email and we will hook up sometime. I got a 10 inch Meade LX250GPS and a Coronado Helios 1 H-alpha solar telescope. I also have an Orion ED80 Refractor. I own a Meade DSI and a Canon Powershot digital camera with Scopetronix adapter.

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