M51 & NGC5195, The Whirlpool revisited

Messier 51, The Whirlpool Galaxy, rates as one of my favourite galaxies to image. The gravitational interactions between the two galaxies have created a beautiful spectacle.  Below is my most recent image, but first some of the image background:

I am in the process of providing our mount with guiding capabilities, the camera for which, will be a Starlight Xpress Lodestar. This is based on an excellent quality Exview CCD (the ICX429AL) and all built into a 1.25″ eyepiece type barrel. Anyhow I have the camera but no lens or adapter yet, so whilst guiding isn’t an option, I thought I’d try a little imaging with the guide cam. I collected 1hour 10minutes of luminosity with the Lodestar and added to that 35minutes of colour data from my Canon 20D. Here is the resulting image:

m51-161207-web   Click image for a larger view …

I’m quite pleased with the results from this unusual combination of cameras. All data was gathered through the C6SGT operating at f10 and at 3-4 am in the morning. I was barely functioning but the -3 degrees C was helping the uncooled cameras, no darks or flats were used for the Lodestar but they were used for the 20D. As normal Iris, Photoshop & Lightroom were used for the processing.

M51 data:

  • Visual Brightness: 8.4
  • Distance: 37 million light years
  • App. Size: 11 x 7 arc mins
  • Constellation: Canes Venatici


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