M-51 (NGC-5194) Spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici
M-51 (NGC-5194) is an interacting face-on grand design type Sc galaxy located in Ursa Major. It is a type SA(s) galaxy with a Seyfert 2 active galactic nucleus. It lies 31 million light years from Earth. It was discovered by Messier in 1773 and was the first galaxy that was observed to have a spiral structure, in 1845, by the Earl of Rosse. It is 76,000 light years in diameter, and has a mass of 160 million solar masses. Its companion galaxy, NGC-5195, is a dwarf galaxy of undetermined classification that has passed behind M-51 about 500 million years ago, and is still gravitationally interacting with M-51.
This image of M-51 was acquired on 6/14/2020, and is a 1 hour 24 minute integration of 4 minute exposures through the C-11 at f/2 using the HyperStar III imaging system and the Starlight Express SXVR H-694C color CCD camera operating at -10 degrees below ambient temperature and binned 1 X 1. Guided, captured and combined using Maxim DL5 Pro. Post processed using PhotoShop CS2, Gradient XTerminator, StarShrink, Carboni's Astro Tools, and NoiseWare.