This impressive galaxy was imaged on March 14-15, 2010. It was exposed for 5 hours, but not nearly enough to overcome the noise from our poor seeing this winter and high humidity. CCD AutoPilot handled the automated aspects collecting some of the images while I slept. The "Whirlpool Galaxy" is a splendid example of a face-on spiral galaxy gravitationally interacting with a smaller companion galaxy. The spectacular spiral galaxy is also commonly known as NGC 5194, and the smaller companion to the right is NGC 5195, and both are found in the constellation of Canes Venatici. Click on the image for a more detailed view.