||M51 is a classical example of an interacting galaxy
pair. The primary galaxy (NGC5194) shows a significant disruption in the
shape of one of its spiral arms, possibly caused by the gravitational
attraction from its lesser companion (NGC5195). Although the companion
galaxy is clearly entirely behind the outer arm of M51 along our line of
site, its outer reaches have been stretched into a veritable "spray" of
stars considerably larger than the galaxy itself. Spectroscopy shows the
companion to have only a slightly larger red shift (2kps) than the primary
galaxy. This is essentially no difference at all, considering that the
earth orbits the sun with a velocity greater than 30kps.
||Canes Venatici, the two hunting dogs of Bootes: Astarion and Chara.
||13h 30m 1s
||+47° 10' 43"
||7.7 megaparsecs (25 million light years)
||463 kilometers per second
||Meade 14" LX200GPS @ f/5.0 (1775mm)
||Celestron 5" SCT @ f/7.5 (950mm)
||Starlight Xpress MX7C
||780 x 580 @ 1.0 arcseconds per pixel
||Ten exposures of two minutes each. Aligned,
stacked, and processed with AstroArt.
||March 17, 2004
||Mid Florida Star Gaze at Kye's Star Farm in Venus,