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

The Whirlpool Galaxy is well placed

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Deep Sky feed

Objects: M51
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The Whirlpool Galaxy M51 (NGC 5194; mag 8.4) in Canes Venatici will be well placed in the evening sky in coming weeks. On 14 April it will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time, and on subsequent evenings it will culminate four minutes earlier each day.

From Ashburn , it is visible all night. It will become visible at around 20:53 (EST), 45° above your north-eastern horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 01:05, 81° above your northern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight at around 05:24, 43° above your north-western horizon.

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

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'N Canes Venatici 8.4 0'00"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 15 Apr 2021

The sky on 15 April 2021
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

3-day old moon
Waxing Crescent


3 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:28 12:56 19:23
Venus 06:50 13:29 20:08
Moon 08:28 15:50 23:20
Mars 09:39 17:10 00:42
Jupiter 04:09 09:26 14:44
Saturn 03:30 08:33 13:36
All times shown in EDT.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 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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