The Whirlpool Galaxy

Here’s my latest image of the Whirlpool Galaxy. This is a first light image using my new ONTC1010 10" f/4 reflector that I got from Teleskop Service in Germany. I used a Paracorr with it, bringing the f-ratio to f/4.6. I compared this result to the image I took a few years ago with my TMB130SS at 728mm. This one is deeper with more detail in about the same amount of time. Pretty pleased with the scope overall, and should be a good fast light bucket for galaxies and planetary nebulae.

The Whirlpool Galaxy is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici and lies some 23 million light years away. It’s an interacting galaxy pair and was the first to be identified as a spiral galaxy. This interaction has set up waves of star formation through the compression of interstellar hydrogen gas and dust. These dust lanes are prominent features of the Whirlpool. The Whirlpool has been host to several supernovae, the most recent of which was SN2011dh.

Scope: ONTC1010 f/4 reflector
Coma corrector: Paracorr Type 2
Camera: QSI690-wsg8
Guide Camera: SX Ultrastar
Mount: AP1100
L: 27x5min 1x1 binning
RGB: 12x5min 2x2 binning each
Total exposure: 5.2 hours
Software: Voyager, PHD2, APCC, Pixinsight


WOW … congratulations for this wonderful image and for the new setup, details is simple amazing !
Thanks for sharing.

All the best

1 Like

Fantastic result in only 5 hours Gabe - congrats! Enjoy the ONTC, I got the 8" version in February and I’m loving it. Great scope, wish I had gotten one sooner.


1 Like

Thanks Leo and Rowland!

I bought it about 6 months ago, but got sidetracked with the Stowaway. Better late than never though. I’m loving this scope. It’s very light for its size and soaks up the photons. Rowland, are you using the Paracorr on yours? Your M81 is wonderful!


Really nice. Colors are wonderful.



Hi Gabe - yes, I bought mine second-hand from Chris White, and he suggested the Paracorr. Good call! I probably spent an hour figuring out collimation, but with the autocollimator tool, it’s about a 5 minute job now that I understand the process.

Thanks on the M81. I figured I’d pick a bright easy target for my first light, and one that was up most of the night here. My bright stars are a little blown out but the galaxy came out better than I expected. As one of my AP buddies said, “fast scope at a dark site - you’re living the good life now!”