Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy and NGC 5195 imaged from Roberts Creek with my 120mm Megrez refractor on July 13th when it was nicely visible for me. The image is 150 minutes of combined exposures ranging from 30 to 600 seconds with flats and darks applied, taken with a Hα “modded” DSLR.
This is a nice example of interacting spiral galaxies, they are located in Canes Venatici. Estimated to be 23 ± 4 million light-years beyond the Milky Way, M51 was actually the first galaxy to be officially classified as a spiral galaxy. Messier 51 is one of the best known galaxies in the sky. The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars.
Mike Bradley, SCC RASC