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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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Whirlpool Galaxy (M51), Matt Darusz


Charles Messer discovered the whirlpool galaxy October 13, 1778 when observing a comet and he described it as a faint small nebula without stars. This galaxy is about 37 million light years away and its size dominates many of the surrounding galaxies. This galaxy was the first one where the spiral structure was discovered, in spring 1845 by Lord Rosse.

"Spiral with Large High-Surface-Brightness Companion". This galaxy can be seen on a clear night but is very sensitive to air polution. This is one of the most colorful galaxies, Its compact nucleus is overexposed to allow better presentation of the inner spiral arms and dust clouds. Colors in this image are somewhat uneven for unknown reasons.


Right Ascension (J2000) 13:29:09
Declination (J2000) +47:12:00
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 30, 2006 (C)
March 13, 2006 (B)
April 8, 2006 (V)
April 15, 2006 (R)