M51 (also called the Whirlpool Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy roughly 23 million light years away. The galaxy and its interacting companion (NGC 5195) can easily be seen in small telescopes and even with binoculars on a dark night. As seen here, a large nebula extends beyond the much brighter spiral arms.

Technical Information       
Date:                       March, 2014
Location:                 Green Valley, Arizona
Telescope:              Takahashi FSQ-106EDX
Camera:                  SBIG STT-8300M
Filters:                     Astrodon Gen 2
Mount:                     AstroPhysics 1200
Exposure:                LRGB = 380:120:120:120 minutes, all unbinned
Software:                 Acquisition: Maxim DL 5, TheSkyX, Pinpoint, CCD Commander
                                Processing: CCDStack, PhotoShop CS6 with various plugins

M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)