M51: The Whirlpool Galaxy


The Whirlpool Galaxy is a pair of interacting galaxies with a pronounced spiral structure in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunter's Dogs).

It is located 25 million ly away. With its total brightness of 8.4 mg, it is hard to make out visually even with relatively large telescopes.

Images taken: April 19, 2007

Students: Erin Callahan, Halley Anne Hargrave, Elizabeth Tucker, Kasey Moore.

Telescope: Meade 12 in with f/5.7 focal reducer (f=68in).

Camera: SBIG ST-10 CCD

 Exposures: 4x20 min (red), 4x20 min (green), 7x20 min (blue). That is a total of 5 hours of light collecting.

Image processing: CCDoops + CCDsoft + Photoshop CS.

Images taken: April 2014

Telescope: CDK 17-in with f/4.6 focal reducer.

Camera: SBIG ST-10 CCD

 Exposures: 2x 20 min with each of red, green, blue and H-alpha fileters.

Image processing: CCDoops + CCDsoft + Photoshop CS.