© Digitised Sky Survey (DSS); Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS-II)

M51 is well placed

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The whirlpool galaxy (M51, NGC 5194) will be well placed for observation. It will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time.

At a declination of +47°11', it is easiest to see from the northern hemisphere but cannot be seen from latitudes much south of 22°S.

From Fairfield, it will be visible all night. It will become visible around 20:40 (EDT) as the dusk sky fades, 45° above your north-eastern horizon. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 00:52, 83° above your northern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:05, 45° above your north-western horizon.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

At magnitude 8.4, M51 is quite faint, and certainly not visible to the naked eye, but can be viewed through a pair of binoculars or small telescope.

The position of M51 is as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
M51 13h29m50s +47°11' Canes Venatici 8.4 11'00"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 14 April 2017
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

17-day old moon
Waning Gibbous


17 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:23 13:21 20:20
Venus 04:48 11:01 17:14
Moon 22:54 03:10 08:20
Mars 07:35 14:51 22:06
Jupiter 18:39 00:28 06:13
Saturn 00:30 05:11 09:51
All times shown in EDT.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE405 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Image credit

© Digitised Sky Survey (DSS); Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS-II)




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