"Whirpool Galaxy" M51

Object Information:

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51aM51a, or NGC 5194, is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus in the constellation Canes Venatici. It was the first galaxy to be classified as a spiral galaxy. Recently it was estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years from the Milky Way, but different methods yield distances between 15 and 35 million light-years. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion, NGC 5195, are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

More information here.

See another processing here. Less detail and more balanced colours.

Exposure Information:

1h15 minutes exposure

Lights: 5x900" 800ISO
Darks: 6
Flats: 30
Bias: 50

Temperature 10ºC

Moon phase 99%

Note: Eventhough it's almost full moon I try to photograph this spectacular galaxy.

Imaged at: Prades, Tarragona, CATALUNYA - SPAIN
Equipment: Optics - GSO- 200/1000 Newtonian f/5
Camera - Canon 450D moded (IR filter removed)
Mount - Sky-Watcher Neq6 PROII
Guiding scope – EZG 60/230
Guiding and planetary camera – ASI 174MC
Image date: February 21, 2016