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Contains:  NGC 5195, Whirlpool galaxy, M 51, NGC 5194
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M51 Whirlpool Galaxy in LRGB (Red Zone), 


            Douglas J Struble
M51 Whirlpool Galaxy in LRGB (Red Zone)

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy in LRGB (Red Zone)

Technical card

Resolution: 2472x1978

Dates:April 22, 2018May 8, 2018May 9, 2018

Astrnomik CLS-CCD: 661x60" -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 120x60" -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 119x60" -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 120x60" -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 17.0 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Flat darks: ~50

Bias: ~250

Avg. Moon age: 17.63 days

Avg. Moon phase: 42.63%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.00 job: 2053278

RA center: 202.465 degrees

DEC center: 47.194 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.649 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 110.719 degrees

Field radius: 0.285 degrees

Locations: Backyard Red Zone Observatory, Taylor, MI, Michigan, United States

Data source: Unknown


During small galaxy season, I am humbled what I can pull out of my night's sky giving my heavily light polluted red zone near a major city. It would seem I am approaching my limits with integration time pulling out the detail I wish to achieve. To some, they may marvel on what I can pull out of my skies. To others, I am sure it pails in comparison to what is possible with darker skies. Never the less, I tried to put my processing skills to work the best I can in color and detail.

I tried capturing M51 a year ago; early in my AP hobby. It is the most visible galaxy interaction and has fascinated me for a long time:

It is one of my favorite deep space objects and wanted to attempt it again with a bit more experience under my belt.

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a, M51a, and NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus. It lies in the constellation Canes Venatici, and was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Its distance is estimated to be between 15 and 35 million light-years.

The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy has been extensively observed by professional astronomers, who study it to understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.



Douglas J Struble
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


M51 Whirlpool Galaxy in LRGB (Red Zone), 


            Douglas J Struble

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