Tag Archives: Whirlpool Galaxy

Canes Venatici (The hunting dogs)

Canes VenaticiCanes Venatici represents the hunting dogs of Bootes, the herdsman. This is a small northern constellation consisting of only two main stars, and it is located below the Big Dipper’s curved handle and to the right of Bootes. Canes Venatici reaches its highest nightfall ascension in May.

In spite of its small size, Canes Venatici is very interesting in its arrangement of galaxies. The Giant Void, the largest galactic supervoid known, exists along side several other notable galaxies. There are four Messier galaxies: M51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy), M63 (the Sunflower Galaxy), M94, and M106. A fifth Messier object in the M3 globular star cluster, which is bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye under a very dark sky.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canes_Venatici

IAU Canes Venatici chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.
IAU Canes Venatici chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51)

Find The Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) by locating the three handle stars of the Big Dipper. Take a line from the middle star to the end of the handle. Now take a 90-degree turn toward the inside of the handle, just under half the distance between the two stars. Look for a small, diffuse fuzzy blob. Not impressive, even in a larger amateur telescope, but you will have observed your first galaxy! Images of the Whirlpool Galaxy in Wikipedia reveal that it is a spiral, face on galaxy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whirlpool_Galaxy