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Supernovae in M51

Submitter: Albert van Duin
Description: The famous Whirlpool galaxy M51, also known as NGC5194 was the first galaxy that showed it's spiral structure in big telescopes. William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse, was the first to observe this structure visually in his 1.8m telescope from Ireland.

M51 has been producing many supernovae, three of them in the last seventeen years. This is quite a lot, the average time between spernovae in our galaxy seems to be around 50 years. I missed the one in 1994, it was very close to the bright core, but I imaged the one in July 2005 with my 25cm F/5 telescope using a homebuilt Audine CCD camera.

Last week I finished my latest project, a 40cm f/4 photographic Newtonian, and on the night of first light I was able to image this galaxy with the supernova. At this time of year the sky doesn't get dark, the so called "grey nights", so 30 short integrations of 30 seconds each were combined in the image at right. The sensitivity and resolution of the new telescope are very promising!
Copyright: Albert van Duin
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