The Whirlpool Galaxy ... Messier 51
(Click on Picture for larger view)


Added January 30, 2019 ...
Messier 51 ... The Whirlpool Galaxy
This spiral galaxy is about 23 million light-years away. In the sky, it is located near the end of the handle of the Big Dipper in the constellation of Canes Venatici and contains more than 100 billion stars. Off to the left is the much smaller dwarf companion, known as NGC 5195. By 2 am, frost was forming in the lens. Ironically, the dew/frost strip wrapped around the lens to prevent frosting, shorted out and caught fire. Total exposure: 1hr 58mn. This galaxy is high in the NE sky around 1 am in late January.


The Techy Stuff ... For those who want to know ...
Telescope: 11" Celestron Edge HD at f/10
Mount: Celestron CGX
Polar Align: QHY PoleMaster
Camera: Canon T7i (modified for astrophotography)
Capture software: Backyard EOS v3.1.16 Premium Edition
Guiding: PHD 2 (RMS error: 0.76 ... i.e. decent tracking)
Light Frames: 59 at 120 seconds with ISO setting 800
Dark Frames: 10
Bias Frames: 10
Filter: Baader UV/IR-Cut/L
Stacked in PixInsight
Post Processed in Photoshop CC
Seeing Conditions: 9.5 (0-10, where 0 is total cloud cover)
Bortle Light-Pollution zone: 4.5 (can barely see the Milky Way)
Temperature: 30F, Dew Point 26, winds: calm
Location: Backyard, Savannah GA




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