M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)

Date: June 11, 2005
Location: Fremont Peak, CA
Scope: Takahashi FS102 @ 800mm
Guiding: Vixen 60mm refractor with SBIG ST-4
Mount: Losmandy G-11
Camera: SBIG ST2000XM
Filters: Custom Scientific in FLI CFW
Exposure details:
3x20min   red
3x10min   green
3x10min   blue
Processing: MaximDL for calibration, alignment and combining.  PSCS for final processing

Notes: This galaxy pair was discovered in 1773.  The larger face-on spiral contains over 300 billion stars and would take over 60,000 years to traverse even at the speed of light.  The light recorded in this image left the stars in this galaxy over 30 million years ago.