M 51 in interaction with its companion (NGC 5195) is one of the most beautiful images that gives us the sky for amateur astronomers. In a moderately good sky and with a half-open tube appreciate how the disks of these galaxies are playing.
Two spiral galaxies are located in the northern constellation of Canes Venatice, about 3 ° away from the star Alkaid (eta UMa). Its location is easy as can be distinguished in the search box 9x as a tiny gray haze. With letters from mag. 6.5 takes me a couple minutes to find them.
Also called the Whirlpool Galaxy, M 51 is a very bright object with a bright nucleus, where it descends gradually to the outside light to get lost in a blur round irregular contour. The brightness of the disk is irregular with signs of spiral arms.
It’s pretty big, about 8 ‘, in relation to the eyepiece of actual field 1, and its shape is round, somewhat flattened perhaps because we see her face.
Attached to the contour Visibly M 51 NGC 5195 is another spiral galaxy about 2 ‘in size, round and rather less luminous than its companion.
Another feature that is seen in M 51 is a little star superimposed in the middle of your disk.
Scattered throughout the field there are several bright stars and about 15 ‘of the galaxy, the more brightness of all.
The 80x I get the best view and choose to do the part. Also alternate direct vision and diverted.
Object Name: NGC 5560 / 5566 in Virgo
Object Type: Interacting galaxies
Location: Sourbrodt, Belgium
Date: 16th May 2012, 23h UT
Media: graphite pencil on white paper, digital scan & interverted
Optics: SCT C11 f/10, CGEM mount, Hyperion 10mm (280x), FOV 15 arcm , SQM-L 21.2
This sketch was made at one of the few remaining dark locations in Belgium under almost perfect atmospheric conditions. This nice galaxy duo was quite striking with NGC 5566 the most brightest, moderate nucleus and a slightly elongated halo oriented NNE. With averted vision the halo is slightly more bright on southwest side with hint of curve southside. Nearby NGC 5560 is clearly visible as bright and elongated patch of light without obvious core or halo.
This galaxy duo is known as Arp 286 and actually consists of three members, the third faint one being NGC 5569 but not noticed during the observation. Observing this kind of objects allows you to challenge the limits of your optics and are highly rewarding for averted vision observations!
I observed many galaxies in the spring sky these days, and I made a small compilation of the most beautiful objects. I hope you’ll like it 🙂
Galaxies: M51 in Canes Venatici, M83 in Hydra, NGC4565 in Coma Berenices and NGC5018 in Virgo.
Object Name The Siamese Twins; NGC 4567 & NGC 4568 with NGC 4564
Object Type: Spiral Galaxies in Virgo (Colliding)
Location: West Desert, Utah
Date: May 12th, 2012
Media: Gray and White Pastels on Black Paper with brush
Equipment: 14 inch Dob, 27mm Panoptic, 14mm Pentax, 10mm Pentax (all with Type I Paracorr).
Sky Conditions: Clear, cold, Antoniadi I
Time: 01:20am MDT or 0720 UT
NGC 4567 is mag. 11.3 with a size of 3.0’x2.0′. NGC 4568 has a mag. of 10.8 and is 4.6’x2.0′ in size; NGC 4564 is mag. 11.1 with a size of 3.5’x1.5.
Notes: This was my last sketch of the night as we felt the moon was going to rise about 1:40 a.m. or so but in reality, it did not come up until after 2:10a.m. NGC 4567 is the northern most galaxy of the two that are colliding. It is rather bright, and fairly small in size. It is more roundish in nature than its colliding companion. NGC 4567 has a higher surface brightness than NGC 4568.
NGC 4568 is the southern member of the colliding galaxies here. It is pretty bright and rather large and is elongated SSW to NNE. The core is very bright.
NGC 4564 actually should be just a little more off, but I ran out of paper and wanted it included in the sketch. It is smaller in size than the other two, and is bright. Like NGC 4568 it is elongated but SW to NE. There is outer diffusion and then a brighter core region with a stellar nucleus.
One of my favorite objects to observe on dark, excellent seeing nights is M51 & companion galaxy NGC 5195. Seeing was excellent on the night of 3/19/12 & I sketched prominent features of the galaxies from the scope using a red light to see the paper. After returning inside for the night I decided to clean up my sketch & enhance some of the features I made notes on. A few nights later I went back to check on my accuracy.
Although I could see a lot of detail with my 12.5” Portaball, I realized I had over enhanced my sketch. I then stayed at the scope to remove the enhancements that were not accurate. This was a good learning experience for me. It is sometimes difficult to observe & stay dark adapted even with red light, and my visual acuity isn’t what it once was. In the future I plan to sketch, make notes, clean up the sketch with better light but then return to the subject to verify what I have truly observed.
Object: M51 & NGC 5195
Object Type: Galaxy
Location: Maui, Hawaii ~4,000 elevation
Date: 3/19/12 9:20pm, second sketch 3/25/12
Media: White paper, charcoal & charcoal pencils, graphite. Inverted with Photoscape
Object Name: NGC4038 and NGC4039
Object Type: The Antennae Galaxies (Corvus)
Location: Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma
Date: 30. June 2011, 11:50 PM
Media: Chalk pencil on black paper
Observer: Christian Rausch
Telescope: 12inch/F5 Dobson (Hofheim Instruments)
Object : Supernova SN2011dh in Spiral Galaxy M51
Date : June 08, 2011
Time : 12:30-02:00 LST/ 07:30-09:00 UT
Location : Aguila, Arizona USA
Gear : Binoculars 25 x 100 and CPC1100 XLT with 25mm Plossl
Detector : Visual Sketch
Magnitude : 8.5 for M51 and 14.9 for SN2011dh(webtreatz.com)
Weather : Clear sky, no winds, low 70’s and quiet as a mouse!
It’s interesting to ponder in awe, how a star that has turned into a supernova some 30 million light years distant is just NOW reaching our immediate universe, our light buckets our dilated pupils! This recently discovered supernova cataloged SN2011dh and found on May 31, 2011, might not last long. It’s believed to be diminishing in magnitude with a possible viewing window of some weeks or perhaps a couple of months. If you would like to get a glimpse of it, my suggestion is- don’t wait any longer!
With mounted binoculars it is quite easy to pick up M51 as it appears elongated and fuzzy. Some fidgetting of the eyeball around the circumference of the oculars and it’s companion NGC5195 emerges just as well. Both gravitationally interacting galaxies seem like puffs of smoke with their nucleus showing a hint of brightness.There are no noticeable spiral arms, no connecting bridge or other discernable features- not even the main attraction SN2011dh.
All this will change when I prepare the 11 inch SCT and aim it at the said subject with a 25mm Plossl. Yes, I had tried a 10mm and a 32mm but the 25mm gave me the best results. Peering down the eyepiece, Hazy blotches but distinct spiral structures are emanating from the soft glowing core of M51. Of the two major spiraling limbs, the one stretching all the way to NGC5195 or the one with the southeast orientation, will be the one sporting the newly discovered supernova. Four tiny specks of starlight ranging in magnitude from 13 -15 located on the southwest side of the Whirlpool and lined-up from East to West are clearly visible when using the cone receptors within the corners of your eyeballs. Averted vision here my friends, or you will miss the whole point. No pun intended! From recent photo submissions to various popular social websites, I made a mental note to see the whereabouts or location of SN2011dh. It’ll be nested on the spiral arm which embraces NGC5195 or the one facing the southeast coordinates.Much better seeing than explaining but after plotting their correct places among the broken segments of spiral arcs- one of the specks surely did fell where the photos had indicated it should be! I concluded my quest and my sketching for the night was done. Enjoy!