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Galaxies Collide - M51
Posted By: Colorado CJ, 03-26-2020, 09:47 AM

Finally had a clear night last night (for a little while anyway), so I shot M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy.

These are actually a pair of interacting galaxies, which are literally tearing each other apart. Located 37,000,000 light years from Earth, this galaxy is one of my favorites to photograph.

The first photo is uncropped, where you can see many other distant galaxies in the vicinity of M51. The second photo is a cropped, or "zoomed" in version.

Total imaging time for this image was just under 2 hours.

140, 20 second Luminance images
135, 30 second RGB images

Not too bad for a light polluted suburban backyard






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03-26-2020, 09:54 AM   #2
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Now that's a cool shot!


Thanks for sharing with us
03-26-2020, 12:49 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Hey you! Yeah, YOU, little galaxy! GET OUT OF MY WAY!!! I'M COMING THRU!!



Great shot, and for a suburban sky it turned out wonderful.
03-26-2020, 04:03 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
Not too bad for a light polluted suburban backyard
I'll say! Great job. What a marvelous sight. Of course, this is what the galaxies looked like 37,000,000 years ago. I wonder how the merger is progressing these days.

03-26-2020, 07:10 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Colorado CJ Quote
Finally had a clear night last night (for a little while anyway), so I shot M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy.

These are actually a pair of interacting galaxies, which are literally tearing each other apart. Located 37,000,000 light years from Earth, this galaxy is one of my favorites to photograph.

The first photo is uncropped, where you can see many other distant galaxies in the vicinity of M51. The second photo is a cropped, or "zoomed" in version.

Total imaging time for this image was just under 2 hours.

140, 20 second Luminance images
135, 30 second RGB images

Not too bad for a light polluted suburban backyard






This amazing photograph so boggled my mind I had to immediately Google and read up on it. Makes you wonder - if any sort of intelligent life had evolved in any part of either of the two galaxies would it have any chance of evolving quickly enough to get the hell out of Dodge before their part of the galaxy started tearing apart, or were conditions in either galaxy totally inimical to life from the get-go? Room for an epic SF tale of the Great Escape anywhere in here?

I have been an SF Nerd since about the age of 10 or so, and images like this just set my brain in a spin (or a spiral!!). Keep it up, C CJ!
03-27-2020, 03:14 AM   #6
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That's great ! Which scope do you use ?
03-27-2020, 08:21 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone!

QuoteOriginally posted by K2 to K50 Quote
This amazing photograph so boggled my mind I had to immediately Google and read up on it. Makes you wonder - if any sort of intelligent life had evolved in any part of either of the two galaxies would it have any chance of evolving quickly enough to get the hell out of Dodge before their part of the galaxy started tearing apart, or were conditions in either galaxy totally inimical to life from the get-go? Room for an epic SF tale of the Great Escape anywhere in here?

I have been an SF Nerd since about the age of 10 or so, and images like this just set my brain in a spin (or a spiral!!). Keep it up, C CJ!
I am the exact same. That is one reason why Astrophotography has been so addicting for me. I am amazed and in a different world every night when shooting a new image. It is kind of mind boggling to think about . The distances involved and the huge amount of "stuff" out there.

It is pretty awe inspiring to see the images pop up on the screen. Really makes you think and appreciate your place here.

---------- Post added 03-27-20 at 09:24 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Paris Quote
That's great ! Which scope do you use ?
For this shot I used the following

Celestron RASA 11" astrograph
EQ6-R Pro mount
ZWO ASI183MM Pro (cooled mono camera)
ZWO ASI183MC Pro (cooled color camera)
60mm guide scope
ZWO ASI290MM Mini Guide Camera

Everything sits in my backyard observatory I built over the last year.

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