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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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M101 Josh Armstrong


The M101 was historically classified as a nebula. Nebulas are clouds of gas in space. This particular nebula was discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 27, 1781. In reality, this is more than a cloud of gas, it is a whole island of stars and gas in space. The M101 is the brightest of a group of at least 9 galaxies, called the M101 Group. The distance of M101 has been determined by the measurement of Cepheid variables with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994/95 to be about 24 +/- 2 million light years. Despite the fact that M101 is quite bright, only the central region of this galaxy is visible in smaller telescopes. At least three supernovae have been known to exist in, and around, M 101.

There's no denying the absolute beauty of the M101. This image was taken using four different filters: blue, red, green, and clear. Four images of M 101 were taken on this particular occasion, but the image seen above was chosen for its clarity. As seen from the photo, M101 looks to exhibit a spiral motion with one outstretched arm. It's not hard to see God's awesome design in images like these!


Right Ascension (J2000) 14 : 03.2 (h:m)
Declination (J2000) +54 : 21 (deg:m)
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

March 13, 2006(C)