• Constellation: Canes Venatici
  • Right Ascension: 13h 29m 52.7s
  • Declination: +47° 11′ 43″
  • Distance: 23 million ly

Messier 51 and NGC 5194 are a pair of interacting galaxies. It is the brightest member of the M51 galaxy group, which also includes M63, the Sunflower galaxy. It is about 35-40% the size of our galaxy, and is Seyfert galaxy with an active galactic nucleus. NGC 5194 is thought to have passed through M51's disk some 500 million years ago that led to an enhanced spiral pattern and increased star formation and then passing through the disk again some 50-100 million years ago to a position currently located behind the galaxy. The two galaxies will eventually merge after a few more passes.

  • Telescope: Explore Scientific 127 Refractor
  • Camera: ZWO 1600 MM