My Observation:

Taken: 1 June 2024 at 10:45 PM EST

Equipment: Unistellar Equinox2

General Information:

  • Messier Designation: M51
  • Type: Spiral Galaxy
  • Distance from Earth: 23,000,000 light years

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51 (M51), is a classic spiral galaxy located approximately 23 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici. This galaxy is famed for its striking appearance and well-defined structure, featuring prominent spiral arms that coil tightly around its luminous core. M51 is particularly noted for its grand design spiral structure, which is rich in star-forming regions, pinkish nebulae, and clusters of young, hot stars. It is often paired with a smaller companion galaxy, NGC 5195, which appears to be interacting with M51, enhancing its spiral structure through gravitational forces. This interaction has made M51 a popular subject in both professional astronomical research and amateur astrophotography, providing valuable insights into the dynamics of galaxy formation and evolution.

Additional Details from NASA:

Hubble Image: