Friday, 28 February 2014

GALAXY - M51 Whirlpool

Situated at RA 13h29m52s DEC +47°11'43'' 

and shining Mag 8, these two colliding galaxies are 23 million light years from Earth.

While the photons you see here in my photo left M51, Earth was in a rarely occurring period: during 200 000 years or so, there was an unusually low variability in the planet's climate. The orbit was nearly circular and the variation of the axis's tilt was equally low. (More on that here )

M51 - annotations

Whirlpool is a winter object, visible from late autumn until early spring.

The smaller galaxy - NGC 5195 - is believed to have passed through the disk of M51 about 500 million years ago (meanwhile on Earth, Fish were taking the shape we know them to have today).

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

Hot pixels were not cleaned off and are visible on the photo. The give a good indication of the mount's drift and one can judge how well aligned the mount was by their apparent trajectory in the picture.

My very first - M51 with a 350D, 80/400 and an EQ1