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M51 / Whirlpool Galaxy 

Classification: Spiral galaxy M51 / NGC5194
Constellation: Canes Venatici (CVN)
Object Location: Ra 13h 30m 28s Dec +47° 07’06° (current)
Size & Distance: 11.2 x 6.9 Apx 15 to 35 Million light-years.

Date & Location: 12-29-2008, Red Cloud, CA
Exposure: LRGB L=6 @ 10min (bin 1x1). RGB= 3ea. @ 10min (bin 2x2)
Optics: Telescope Engineering Company APO140ED @ f/7 F/L 980mm.
Mount: Astro-Physics 900 GTO / ATS 10x36 Pier
Camera: SBIG-ST10XME @-20c / Guided by STV 80mm, SBIG-RGH
Filters: Astrodon G2 LRGB
Software: MaxImDL 4.56, CCDStack, Photoshop CS, Topaz Lab.

Notes: Sky conditions: Good seeing, calm winds, upper 30’s
Image Field of view is 35 x 52 arcmin.

The Whirlpool Galaxy (also known as M51, or NGC 5194) is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus in the constellation Canes Venatici. 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 smaller galaxy to the right is M51B or NGC 5195. Credit:NASA/ESA
The small spiral galaxy bottom left is IC4263