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 M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy - HII Area Enhanced 

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Follow the handle of the Big Dipper away from the dipper's bowl until you get to the handle's last bright star. Then, just slide your telescope a little south and west and you might find this stunning pair of interacting galaxies, the 51st entry in Charles Messier famous catalog. Perhaps the original spiral nebula, the large galaxy with well defined spiral structure is also cataloged as NGC 5194. Its spiral arms and dust lanes clearly sweep in front of its companion galaxy (top), NGC 5195. The pair are about 31 million light-years distant and officially lie within the angular boundaries of the small constellation Canes Venatici. Though M51 looks faint and fuzzy to the human eye, deep images like this one can reveal the faint tidal debris around the smaller galaxy. [Text adapted from APOD]

Pubblications "Nuovo Orione" Astronomy Magazine - Technical Paper - Issue April , 2016
Optics: GSO RC 10" F8 2000mm - Astrograph Ritchie-Chrétien
Mount: AP Mach1 GTO on Gemini Q-Lock tripod
Camera: QSI-640WSG / ATIK 4000LE
Filters: Astrodon L 1.25" I Series Gen II - HA 5nm / Baader 2" LRGB
Guiding Systems: SXV-AO-LF Active Optics - SX Lodestar
Dates/Times: 7 April 2011 - 3 May 2013 - 8-12 February 2015
Location: Pragelato / Pian dell'Armŕ (Italy)
Exposure Details: L:H:R:G:B => 530:240:50:40:50 = > (53x10):(8x30):(5x10):(4x10):(5x10) color Bin2 [num x minutes]
Cooling Details: -20 / -35 °C
Acquisition: Maxim DL/CCD, TheSkyX, Voyager
Processing: CCDStack2+, PS CS5
Mean FWHM: 2.38" / 1.98" / 1.54"
SQM-L: 21.24 / 21.32 / 20.12