M51 Whirlpool Galaxy
DETAILS:Imaged with LX200 10" and STV with FR-237 reducer at f3.75. Partial processing and histogram stretching in Astroart, and alignment and color combine in MaxIm DL.
COMMENTARY: The Whirlpool Galaxy, at a distance of 15 million light-years, is a relatively close neighbor to the Local Galaxy Group. It is a very graceful and beautiful spiral galaxy measuring approximately 50,000 light-years in diameter, shining with a luminosity of 10 billion suns. The companion galaxy, NGC5195, undergoing tidal interaction with its larger neighbor, is orbiting M51 and having its stars, gas and dust pulled away in the gravitational dance. This is one of the most popular imaging targets.