M51 Whirlpool Galaxy Image

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy Image by Graham Caller

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy by Graham Caller

Another lovely astroimage from member Graham Caller.  This is the interacting galaxies which make up M51, the “Whirlpool Galaxy” (as first listed by Charles Messier).

M51A and the smaller object M51B are interacting.  You can even see this galaxy combination with decent binoculars (but not quite as clearly as in this image!).

Graham comments:

“One M51 finished image attached.

Out of 18 images I got 10 usable that didn’t have noticable trailing. I suspect the defective shots were the result of periodic error in the mount tracking.

The 10 images stacked had flats and bias frames added but no darks as I haven’t taken 5 mins exposure darks before. That’s something to do on the cold and cloudy nights which we have no shortage of :-)