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M 101   The Pinwheel Galaxy

M 101 Pinwheel Galaxy or Messier 101 was discovered by Pierre Méchain on March 1781, it was added into Charles Messier's catalog, as one of his last entries. It was one of the first "Spiral Nebula Galaxys" identified in 1851 by William Parsons.

This Pinwheel Galaxy is about 24 million Light years from earth and is about 170,000 light years in diameter, and is known to be the largest disk Galaxies, and also the brightest with a luminance of about 30 billion times brighter than our sun.

M101 is the biggest and brightest Galaxy of a group of about 9 Galaxies called the M101 group. Most of the spiral arms can be seen, and several of the patches or spiral arm fragments, some of the fragments were assigned their own catalog numbers by William Herschel; according to NGC catalogs, and Burnham, there are 9 of these segments, or patches, that have been identified, 3 of them were found by  Herschel in April 1789.

Within this image you can also see other much smaller Galaxies scattered throughout, one of the brighter ones in located just to the right of the large galaxy and just below the bright star.

This image was taken from 04-11 to 04-13, 2013

This image consists of : 12 X 10mins RGB, 20 X 10mins L    Total time = 9.5 hours

Equipment:

Software:

Guiding:

Location:

Hyperion 12.5 Astrograph

The Sky 6

Takahashi  FS-60c

Oak Hills Observatory

Mountain Instruments MI250

Maxim DL 4.64

STL11000 Ext Guide Camera

Hesperia, California

SBIG STL11000

Photo Shop CS2