<< Back to gallery


Jon Greif

Location of Photo:

Palomar Mountain, California, USA

Date/Time of photo:

May 10, 2021, at 10:00 pm PDT


Astrotech AT72EDII 72 mm refractor, ZWO ASI 533 MC Pro imaging camera, QHY 5Lii guide camera (OAG), RST-135 mount, Ekos Capture and Pixinsight Processing Software.


It's "Galaxy Season" for amateur astronomers. This is the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51, and NGC 5194, a grand-design spiral galaxy, interacting with a smaller adjacent galaxy, NGC 5193. It lies in the constellation Canes Venatici, 31 million light-years from Earth. The galaxies can be seen, currently, at a reasonably dark site with binoculars, just above the last star in the handle of the Big Dipper (Alkaid). This image is a stack of 150 30-second exposures taken through a 72 mm (aperture) refracting telescope with a focal length of 344 mm (wide angle as telescopes go) and was taken at the Palomar Observatory campground during the new moon last week.