I have already imaged M51 galaxy several times. I think it is actually my most often imaged galaxy (though it may be M82 as well 🙂 ) But it is no surprise at all. Messier 51 Whirlpool is a real gem among galaxies. It has large surface brightness, it has a NGC5195 companion, it has impressive amount of detail and interesting structures. Its apparent dimensions are pretty large, so amateurs are able to capture many of M51 features.

I made this year approach to M51 to capture some more detail than in previous attempts. In the middle of April a few nights with good seeing occurred. Transparency was also decent, but unfortunately Moon was just a few days after its maximum phase. That’s why the image below does not reach very deep and the galaxy outer halo is not defined clearly – signal to noise ratio is not impressive here.

Although NGC5195 companion interacts with M51, and scientists determined that it actually passes behind M51 galaxy. This process lasts several hundreds of millions of years. Blueish regions in Messier 51 Whirlpool spiral arms are real star-factories, where new stars are born and many young and hot stars are present. Yellow and reddish colour can be attributed to older stars.

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy luminance channel only
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy luminance channel only

Large version color https://astrojolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-04-20-M51.jpg
Large version mono https://astrojolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/2019-04-20-M51mono.jpg

Clear skies!

Image technical data:

Date: 19-21.04.2019
Location: Nieborowice, Poland
Telescope: Meade ACF 10"
Corrector: AP CCDT67
Camera: QHY163M, gain 100
Mount: SW EQ6
Guiding: SW 80/400 + ASI290MM
Exposure: LRGB 400:40:30:40x60 seconds
Conditions: suburban sky, seeing good, transparency good