M101 – The Pinwheel Galaxy

M101 – The Pinwheel Galaxy

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M101 is a gorgeous spiral galaxy about 21 million light years away.  Roughly the same size as our own Milky Way galaxy, the gravity from all the companion galaxies distorts the symmetry of the galaxy.

This is a wide-field version of M101 (The Pinwheel Galaxy), taken with a QSI683 and Tak106.  10 min exposures of LRGB, binned 1×1, about 3 hours per channel.  Many interesting galaxies in the area, including NGC5474, a companion dwarf galaxy to M101 (in the upper right of the image).  The odd offset of NGC5474’s disk is thought to be due to the gravitational forces from M101.

M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy (Annotated)
M101 – The Pinwheel Galaxy (Annotated)


Resolution ........ 2.102 arcsec/pix
Rotation .......... -138.593 deg
Focal ............. 530.01 mm
Pixel size ........ 5.40 um
Field of view ..... 1d 54' 17.3" x 1d 24' 14.2"
Image center ...... RA: 14 02 43.544  Dec: +54 25 15.59