Located between the constellations of Ursa Major and Canes Venatici lies M51, more commonly referred to as the Whirlpool Galaxy. We are actually looking at two galaxies in this image. The bright yellow area on top is a companion galaxy - NGC 5195 that is actually gliding behind M51. Its strong interaction with M51 creates star making regions evident by the colorful magenta regions between the two galaxies.

OTA:  Vixen VC200L

Camera:  Atik 460ex w/EFW2 filter wheel

Filters:  Astrodon LRGB

Mount:  CGEM DX

Exposure:  L:R:G:B    70:60:60:60  (m)  rgb bin 2x2

Data obtained:  March/May 2015

Meadowlark Ridge Observatory
Meadowlark Ridge Observatory