Messier 51 is one of the most famous galaxies in the sky, appearing face-on when viewed from Earth. At magnitude +8.4, it's relatively bright and visible in binoculars especially from a dark site. M51 has a much smaller dwarf companion NGC 5195 and together they are well-known as the finest and most studied example of an interacting galaxy pair. They are best seen from the Northern Hemisphere during the months of March, April or May. From latitudes greater than 42N the galaxies are circumpolar and therefore never set. This image was taken over multiple nights ending May 16, 2015. This image totals 360 minutes of exposure. Click on the image for a better view.