Photo of the Week for September 17, 2013
The beautiful spiral galaxy M51, in the constellation Canes Venatici, is one of the premier objects in the northern-hemisphere night sky. Through a 12-inch or larger telescope, the galaxy appears whirlpool-shaped, hence its unofficial name, the Whirlpool Galaxy. Considered a relatively nearby spiral galaxy, M51 is 26 million light-years from Earth. Ace astrophotographer Jean Guimond took this image of M51 from his backyard in Quebec City over the course of several nights in April and May using a PlaneWave CDK 12.5-inch telescope operating at f/8 with an SBIG ST-10XME CCD camera equipped with CFW-10 and an IDAS LPS filter. Processing was accomplished using Pixinsight and Adobe Photoshop.