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M51, The Whirlpool, with a 4 inch refractor.

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#1 rodelaet

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:40 PM

M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, offers a pleasing sight in small telescopes. The Whirlpool (NGC 5194) and its small companion, NGC 5195, are an interesting duo. Both show a stellar nucleus and a condensed core. The challenge comes with the observation of the halo of both galaxies. Small scopes offer little contrast. Therefore the eye needs time to discern any features within these halos. Averted vision is mandatory to see where the ‘bridge’ between the two objects is located. The bridge is not visible, but M51’s halo shows an extension on its E side towards NGC 5194. Both objects are 29 million l-y away. NGC 5195 is about as luminous as our own Milky Way, while the Whirlpool is even 3 times brighter!
M51 is located at 3,5° SE of Eta Ursae Majoris.

Site : Bekkevoort, Belgium ( 51° N )
Date : March 23, 2009
Time : around 22.15 UT
Scope : Skywatcher 102/500mm achromatic refractor
Eyepiece : Baader Hyperion Zoom at 8mm
Magnifiction : 63x
FOV: 65’
Filter : none
Seeing : 3/5
Transp. : 2/5
Sky brightness : 19.70 magnitudes per square arc second near zenith (SQM reading).
Nelm: 5.3
Sketch Orientation: N up, W right.
Digital sketch made with Corel Paint Shop Pro X2, based on a raw pencil sketch.

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#2 frank5817

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 04:06 PM

Rony,

Excellent capture, you really pull M-51 in very well with just 4" aperture. Great sketch. :bow: :rainbow: :cool:

Frank :)

#3 Dr Morbius

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 05:10 PM

Another nice job there, Rony !! So mysterious !!! :waytogo: :bow: :cool:

#4 CarlosEH

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 07:08 PM

Rony,

An excellent observation of M51 using your 4-inch refractor. You have captured the appearance of this face-on spiral galaxy very nicely with the aperture used. The bridge between the galaxy and it's companion requires a larger aperture (>10-12 inches) and dark/steady skies. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

Carlos

#5 varmint

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:03 PM

Rony,

Wonderful rendition of M51. I like how you've mottled the star cloud around M51, looks like you can see some spiral structure there.

#6 TenthEnemy

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:14 PM

This is a great sketch, It's as if i'm actually looking through a scope. A very impressive view for a four inch scope, large halo with a hint of spiral structure.

#7 Vincent Becker

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 06:17 AM

Excellent rendering. I was skeptical when I saw your title but you made this very well.

#8 JayinUT

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:42 AM

Rony,

I really like your capture and your description of your observation. Thank you for sharing.

#9 rodelaet

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 03:20 PM

Thanks everyone for the kind replies. :D






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