18 November 2016 | Stellar Whirl

Whirlpool Galaxy

Credit: Andrei Bacila | Click image to enlarge

Image Data

  • Location: about 8km North of Arad, Romania
  • Date: June 13th 2015, February 5th and 6th 2016
  • Camera: Atik 460ex Mono and EFW2 filterwheel
  • Optics: Skywatcher Black diamond ED80 with a Televue TRF-2008 FF/FR
  • Mount: Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT
  • Filters: Baader 1.25″ filters
  • Exposure: L: 24 x 600sec @ bin 1×1, R: 25 x 180sec @ bin 2×2, G: 25 x 180sec @ bin 2×2, B: 25 x 180sec @ bin 2×2. Total: 7,8 Hours.

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51 or NGC 5194, is one of the most spectacular examples of a spiral galaxy. With two spiral arms curling into one another in a billowing swirl, this galaxy hosts over a hundred billion stars and is currently merging with its companion, the smaller galaxy NGC 5195.

Around 30 million light-years away, the Whirlpool Galaxy is close enough to be easily spotted even with binoculars. Using the best telescopes available both on the ground and in space, astronomers can scrutinise its population of stars in extraordinary detail.

On the right half of this image made by Andrei Bacila from Romania, galaxies IC 4263, NGC 5169 and NGC 5198 are also faintly visible.


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