Astrophotography by Kent Biggs







  The Great Whirlpool Galaxy
M51 (NGC 5194 & 5195)



Probably the best known, most often observed galaxy in the northern hemisphere, the Whirlpool Galaxy is one of the brightest and most beautiful.  This is a another example of colliding galaxies where the larger 5194 may absorbe the smaller 5195, or they may just be passing each other and "shaking hands".  Even through small telescopes you can see the pair of galaxies, and through 6-8" telescope you can start to resolve the wonderful galaxy arms.  Note how the arms of 5194 are slightly "bent" due to the gravitational distrotion of 5195.  The stats for M51 are Constellation:  Canes Venatici, M 51, RA: 13h 29m 53.3s, Dec: +47 11' 48", Mag: 9.0 (B), Size: 10.3'x8.1', Class: SA(s)bc pec.



Celestron C11 F/10 (2800mm Focal Length)
SBIG ST10XME with Adaptive Optics
LRGB = 190:50:50:50 minutes


April 30, 2005
Columbus, Texas
Kent E. Biggs