M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy
Hello everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying the clear nights (I know I am).  Last night I was comfortable enough to leave my set up alone for the night.  I was able to sleep for a few hours before getting up and checking to make sure everything was okay with the wires and mount.  I'm basically nocturnal at this point.  It works out though and brings content to the people who want to see it, so I don't mind!

Here we have M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy.  It is an Interacting Grand-Design Spiral Galaxy.  It is essentially colliding and tearing away dust and stars from the dwarf galaxy, NGC 5195.  It's one of iconic galaxies for observers to find in binoculars and telescopes and it's fantastic to image.  If you look closely, you'll also see there are 3 other galaxies in the image as well: The bottom left corner and to the 2-3 o'clock position of M51.  At first I thought I had scratches on my refractor, but I checked Stellarium and the internet and realized that these galaxies all make up the M51 group.  It's more and more interesting the more I dig into the information about the objects I image.  

Image Details:

Taken with a Canon T4i and a Orion ED80 80mm refractor.

21 x 10 minute (600 seconds) exposures

60 Bias

20 Flats (I finally got my flats down!)

Processed in Pixinsight and Lightroom/Photoshop for final details.


Clear Skies,

Dave

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