Monday, April 15, 2013

M51, Whirlpool Galaxy

One of my all time favorite objects to image, M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici.  At a distance of 37 million light years from Earth, M51 is one of the brightest and picturesque images in the sky.  I've posted this image before hoping to get a better image quality.  Lying near the big dipper, M51 is also very hard to see visually in smaller telescopes.  Even larger telescopes, the visual clarity is degraded unless you have really clear dark skies.
This is a 10 minute exposure from Lubbock, TX from my back yard.  Imaged in January 2013 with mild light pollution from the obnoxious Lubbock, TX lights.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

M100 is located in the constellation Coma Berenices.  It is approximately 55 million light years away and has a diameter of about 155,000 light years.  Note the numerous other faint galaxies in the image and the smaller galaxy to the left.  This galaxy is known as NGC 4312.
Image was taken from Lubbock, TX on the night of February 16, 2013.  It's a 10 minute exposure with a total exposure time of 130 minutes.