Messier 51 - NGC 5194

No dss image available for Messier 51
Aladin viewer for the region around Messier 51
Whirlpool Galaxy, Lord Rosse's Question Mark Galaxy
Bode 25, h 1622, GC 3572, MCG+08-25-012, VV 403, ARP 85, UGC 8493, PGC 47404

Type  Galaxy
Magnitude  8.36
Size  10' x 7.59' @ 163°
Right Ascension  13h 29' 52.8"  (2000)
Declination  47° 11' 43" N
Constellation  Canes Venatici
Description  !!!, Great spiral nebula
Classification  SABbc
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
May 12, 2018    Kaʻohe, Mauna Kea, HI (map)
20cm f/6 Newtonian, Cave Astrola @ 102x
Seeing: 8 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Bright and eay to find just off Alkaid, a double galaxy, the larger has a distinct core, the halo shows some structure hinting at a spiral, round, about 5' in diameter, the companion NGC5195 is 5' to the north

Andrew Cooper
Jun 30, 2010    Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea Summit (map)
76mm f/6 APO, TeleVue-76 @ 14x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Small, bright enough to be quite obvious, a halo easily visible around the core, NGC5195 visible on the northern margin, easily found by sweeping south from Alcor, viewed without and then with supplemental oxygen, no major difference seen in the galaxies despite the altitude of 13,600ft

Andrew Cooper
Apr 18, 2010    Hale Pohaku, HI (map)
46cm f/4.5 Newtonian, Deep Violet @ 175x
Seeing: 6 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Stunning! Big, bright, a wonderful spiral surrounding a bright core, two spiral arms wrap around the core, a bridge of material reaches to the companion NGC5195, a 14th magnitude star overlies the spiral in the southwest quadrant, always a showpiece object with a large 'scope and a dark sky!

Andrew Cooper
Apr 6, 2007    Hale Pohaku, HI (map)
15cm f/5 Newtonian, Primero @ 97x
Seeing: 8 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Bright, large, beautiful halo around a bright core, spiral arms clearly visible with averted vision, about 10' across, NGC5195 visible at northern margin and connected by a bright bridge of material, a sublime sight even in a modest telescope given nearly perfect conditions at a true dark sky site

Andrew Cooper
Jun 13, 1999    Pinal Peak, AZ (map)
20cm f/10 SCT

Both galaxies clearly visible, some structure barely visible, large, bright, obvious cores

Rev. T.W. Webb
May 19, 1885    Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)
24cm Reflector

E. of Rosse's wonderful spiral; its wreaths are beyond all but the first telescopes; common ones will only show two very unequal nebula nearly in contact, both brightening in the centre: traces of the halo encompassing the larger may be caught; Sm. could not do more; 'The enigma is another unequivocal mark of the illimitable power of the Supreme Creator!' 9-1/3 in. speculum showed plainly outer end of spiral and junction with smaller nebula. A misty spot in finder 3° sp, Alkaid, at end of Great Bear's tail.
― Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917

Charles Messier
Jan 11, 1774    

Very faint nebula, without stars, near the eye of the Northern Greyhound, below the star Eta of 2nd magnitude of the tail of Ursa Major: M. Messier discovered this nebula on October 13, 1773, while he was watching the comet visible at that time. One cannot see this nebula without difficulties with an ordinary telescope of 3.5 foot: Near it is a star of 8th magnitude. M. Messier reported its position on the Chart of the Comet observed in 1773 & 1774. Memoirs of the Academy 1774, plate III. It is double, each has a bright center, which are separated 4'35". The two "atmospheres" touch each other, the one is even fainter than the other. Re-observed several times.
― Connaissance des Temps, 1781

Johann Elert Bode
Jan 5, 1774    Berlin Observatory, Germany (map)

On January 5, 1774, I found below the last star Eta in the tail of the Great Bear, or at the neck of Asterion (Canis Venatici), west and in a triangle with the 23rd and 24th star (23CVn & 24CVn), a small, faintly luminated nebulous patch of slightly oblonged shape. It was only visible with the 7-foot telescope, and forms a trapezium with 3 small stars west of it, the separation to which I measured with the heliometer
Other Data Sources for Messier 51
Associated objects for Messier 51
Nearby objects for Messier 51

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Messier 51