Wednesday, April 14, 2010

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy with the Big Scope

M51 is a nearby galaxy undergoing a close pass with a smaller neighbor. The smaller galaxy is being ripped apart by the tidal forces generated by the encounter.

I took this photo of Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy using my biggest telescope, the Celestron 9.25" inch Schmidt-Cassegrain and my Canon 300D DSLR. It is a median stacked composite of five 10 minute images. It is a little grainy, and the stars are a bit wonky because the wind was blowing. Overall I am pleased with the color it captured. I had planned to capture more than just five images, to reduce the graininess, but a windstorm kicked up and thwarted my plans.

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