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Jon Greif

Location of Photo:

Alpine, CA, USA

Date/Time of photo:

April 11-12, 2024, 11 pm to 2 am PDT


SeeStar S50 "smart-scope." Processed with Pixinsight 1.8.9 on an M1 Macbook Pro.


This is the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as M51 or NGC 5194. It is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy. The smaller galaxy to its left, with which it interacts, is NGC 5195. M51 lies in the constellation Canes Venatici, and is 23.5 million light-years away and 76,900 light years in diameter. The Whirlpool Galaxy was discovered on October 13, 1773, by Charles Messier while hunting for objects that could confuse comet hunters. This image is from a stack of 845 10-second exposures recorded over 2 1/2 hours last night.