M101 - The Pinwheel Galaxy in Ursa Major

Copyright 2004 John Hodge

The beautiful Pinwheel Galaxy, known as M101.  Recognized as one of the finest examples of a classic spiral, it actually is quite non-symmetrical with its core being considerably off-center.  It lies at a distance of 27 million light-years and spans 170,000 light years across its diameter, nearly twice the size of our own Milky-Way galaxy.  It has a total luminosity of 30 billion suns.   



Date/Location:    May 9, 2004     Iwancio-Hodge Observatory    Bethune, SC
Instrument:    SBIG ST-7 through 12" LX-200 
Focal Ratio:   f 3.3
Guiding:    Auto via ST-7
Conditions:    Visually clear
Exposure: 1x20 minutes
Filters:    None