Celestial hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Canes Venatici (CVn)  ·  Contains:  M 51  ·  NGC 5194  ·  NGC 5195  ·  Whirlpool galaxy
Whirlpool Galaxy, 



    
        

            Bruce
Whirlpool Galaxy
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Whirlpool Galaxy, 



    
        

            Bruce
Whirlpool Galaxy
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Acquisition details

Frames:
Integration:
0″

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 572342

RA center: 13h29m53s.8

DEC center: +47°1210

Orientation: -178.676 degrees

Field radius: 0.303 degrees

Resolution: 1980x1422

File size: 552.9 KB

Locations: Meadowlark Ridge Observatory, New Glarus, Wisconsin, United States

Description

Located between the constellations of Ursa Major and Canes Venatici lies the Whirlpool Galaxy. What you are looking at however is actually two galaxies. The “upper” part – is actually a companion galaxy (NGC 5195). Although they appear to be connected they are not. NGC 5195 is actually floating behind M51 and has been for hundreds of millions of years. This smaller galaxy has a profound effect on M51 using its gravitational muscle to create waves of gaseous material which eventually turns into star forming regions evident by the colorful magenta areas between the two galaxies.

The Whirlpool galaxy is 60 thousand light years across. Distance estimates vary between 15 and 35 million light years from earth. It was discovered in 1773 by Charles Messier while its companion galaxy was discovered in 1781 by Pierre Mechain.

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Whirlpool Galaxy, 



    
        

            Bruce