Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 101

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Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 101, Big, beautiful spiral galaxy M101 is one of the last entries in Charles Messier’s  famous catalog. About 170,000 light-years across, this galaxy is enormous, almost twice the size of our own Milky Way galaxy. M101 was also one of the original spiral nebulae observed by Lord Rosse’s large 19’th telescope, the Leviathan of Parsontown. The sharp image shows stunning features in the galaxy’s face-on disk of stars and dust along with background galaxies, some visible right through M101 itself. Also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy M101 lies within the boundaries of the northern constellation Ursa Major, about 25 million light-years away. This image was taken through the 20″ Planewave CDK20 telescope and the Finger Lakes Instruments PL16803 camera and is a combination of  46 images taken over 10 hours.


Optics: 20″ Planewave CDK20
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MEII
Camera: FLI PL16803
Filters: FLI LRGB
Dates/Times: Feb, 2015
Location: Adler Earth and Sky Observatory, Jackson Hole WY
Exposure Details: L=12x20min,1:1, R,G,B=8x20min, 2:2, Ha=10x20min 4:4, total 46 images, 10 hr
Acquisition: MaxImDl, SkyX, Guiding Astrodon MOAG, SBIG STi
Processing: MaximDl, Photoshop CC