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Messier 51 (M51, NGC 5194) is the famous "Whirlpool" galaxy in Canes Venatic (The Big Dipper is near this). It is one of the most conspicuous and best-known spiral galaxies in the sky. M51 is interacting with its much smaller neighbor, NGC 5195; the two galaxies may be seen with binoculars under very dark skies.
Image taken by SkyWatcher SW120ED refractor with Orion .85x focal reducer mounted on my SkyWatcher AZ EQ5 GT goto mount. Camera is a Nikon D3100 DSLR. 108, 60sec images were taken over a 4 day period and stacked in DeepSkyStacker. GIMP was used to enhance.

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