M51 and NGC 5198 Masaic


The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a, M51a, or NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Recently it was estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years from the Milky Way,but different methods yield distances between 15 and 35 million light-years. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

"Located south of the Whirlpool Galaxy in the sky, NGC 5198 is a seemingly ordinary elliptical galaxy that was discovered in 1787 by William Herschel. Deep images however reveal a recently discovered tidal tail in addition to an outer tidal shell. The length of the tidal tail is approximately 300,000 light years and is the remains of a small galaxy that has been absorbed by NGC 5198. The linear nature of the tidal tail is indicative of a recent collision with a previous companion or satellite galaxy, which has been tidally disrupted by the larger galaxy." Description by Sakib Rasool




Telescope: Planewave 17" f6.7 on a Planewave HD Mount Camera: SBIG 16803

Location: Stellar Winds Observatory at DSNM, Animas, New Mexico

Exposure: 1000min Luminance, 300 of each RGB and 420 HA for M51 and LRGB 450L, 240 each RGB for NGC5198