Like a Whirlpool
M51 in Canes Venatici

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After a couple of years imaging with film during the mid-80's, I set aside my camera out of frustration with and the tedium of manual guiding. Marriage and two kids also quickly consumed my available resources so that I remained a spectator during the hobby's conversion to CCD.

All of that began to change as I began to tour the websites of the great master CCD imagers. Portraits of M51 always captured my attention and I found myself returning every so often to parse out the details. Images of this object by Russell, Adam, Volker and Tony Hallas were (and remain) particularly stimulating. But something in Rob Gendler's rendition reached out, grabbed me by the throat and pulled me into a whirlpool of wife, kids, work, chores, sleep and CCD imaging. So, here am I.

Therefore, I have eagerly awaited the recent return of M51 to the early morning night sky so I could discover it personally with a CCD.

585 minutes Luminance, 120 minutes Red, Green and Blue (1X1)
Takahashi Mewlon 300, f/9.2
SBIG ST-10XE, CFW8a and A0-7