Photo of the Week for June 24, 2016
One of the most iconic galaxies in the entire sky is M51, better known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. Although located in the unremarkable constellation Canes Venatici, most observers associate M51 with the Big Dipper since the galaxy is located just below Alkaid, the last star in the Dipper’s handle. The Whirlpool can be seen from Canadian latitudes all year round, but it’s positioned directly overhead on late-spring evenings.
This fine, deep portrait of M51 was captured by Frédéric Caron from Sainte-Christine, Quebec. He used a Celestron C14 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope working at f/7.25 and a QHYCCD QHY9 monochromatic camera (for luminance data) and a SBIG ST-8XE camera (for colour data) for a total exposure of nearly 12 hours.