Arp 85 (M51; NGC 5194 & 95)

                            Meade 2045D, StarlightXpress MX716, 39 minutes, 31' x 22'                                                         10-inch Newtonian, SBIG 2000XM, 28:14:12:12, 15.7' x 11.8'

  Arp 85 is also M51, the well-known "Whirlpool".  It is in the class Spirals with Large HSB Companions on Arms.  The primary is NGC 5194 and the companion is NGC 5195.  The Atlas notes point out "faint plumes and extensions from companion", which are obvious in all these images but especially in the false color image below.  The false color image also shows a faint arm or bubble, just above the noise level, extending almost the entire length on the east side.  I call this version the "Cosmic Cat".

The monochrome image was taken with a Meade 2045D piggybacked on my Newtonian, using an f/7.5 focal reducer (a nominal f/6.3 reducer but giving f/7.5 because of the spacing).  It shows how much can be captured with only 4 inches of aperture when the target is large and bright.  The color image was made with the Newtonian at full aperture, and the 2000XM camera.  While the monochrome images are nearly as deep, the color image gives much more information about the structure of these galaxies.  It is much easier to identify regions with new stars, old stars, dust, gaseous nebulae, etc.

  Atlas Image

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