M 51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Galaxy Messier 51, famously known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, stands as an awe-inspiring celestial masterpiece. This captivating spiral galaxy, located approximately 23 million light-years away from Earth, showcases its graceful spiral arms in a mesmerizing dance of stars, gas, and dust.

The Whirlpool Galaxy's remarkable properties include its intricate spiral structure, which is a result of its gravitational interaction with a smaller companion galaxy, NGC 5195. This interaction has sparked the formation of new stars and ignited a burst of starbirth along its spiral arms.

Visible through telescopes and even amateur binoculars, the Whirlpool Galaxy offers a breathtaking view of its core, featuring a bright nucleus surrounded by delicate lanes of dust and star clusters. Its photogenic beauty has made it a favorite target for both professional astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts.

At the heart of the Whirlpool Galaxy lies a supermassive black hole, whose immense gravitational pull shapes the galaxy's central region. Its cosmic allure serves as a reminder of the vast wonders that our universe holds, inviting us to contemplate the mysteries of space and time.

Photographed from Heidelberg, Germany under Bortle 7 conditions.

  • Category

    Spiral Galaxy (SA(s)bc pec)

  • Coordinates

    RA 13h 29m 52.7s
    DEC +47° 11′ 43″

  • Distance

    ~23 Million ly

  • Apparent Mag

    8.4 mag

  • Equipment

    TS ONTC8 200/800 Astrograph
    Skywatcher 10" f/4
    Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT
    QHY 294m pro

  • Exposure

    L: 101 x 180 s
    R: 50 x 180 s
    G: 50 x 180 s
    B: 32 x 180 s
    Total Integration: 11.7 h

  • Publication Date


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