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The Whirlpool – M 51

The Whirlpool Galaxy

Crop

July 18th, 2018

Somehow, in four years of astro imaging I have avoided imaging one of the most prominent galaxies in the northern hemisphere. That is until now. I really wanted to do well on this one so this was captured from a bortle 5 site instead of my light polluted home, and I think this was a great help. Overall I think it turned out well but there is plenty of room for improvement.

The Whirlpool has a rich history. It was the first object observed to have a spiral structure, and one of the first proven interacting galaxy pairs. M 51B (on left in cropped image) is a much smaller galaxy that is interacting with M 51 to throw off the cloud of dust and stars that can be seen in this image.

Captured on: June 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2018

Gear:
AT6RC, 896mm @ F/5.9

AP CCDT67
ZWO ASI 1600mm-C
ZWO EFW-8
ZWO filters
Skywatcher NEQ6 Pro
Orion SSAG

Acquisition:

Luminance: Astronomik CLS filter(1.25″), 40x120s, -10C, 1×1 bin, Unity Gain
Red: ZWO Red filter(1.25″), 20x120s, -10C, 1×1 bin, Unity Gain
Green: ZWO Green filter(1.25″), 20x120s, -10C, 1×1 bin, Unity Gain
Blue: ZWO Blue filter(1.25″), 20x120s, -10C, 1×1 bin, Unity Gain

Total Acquisition of 3hrs, 20 minutes

Software:
PS, DSS, PHD2, SGP, EQMOD

Thanks for looking!