Return to Heritage Home Page Current Image Gallery Archive Information Center Hubble Art Search
Return to Heritage Home Page Current Release Home Page Caption Fast Facts Biographies Supplemental Material
About this Object

Object Name:

Whirlpool Galaxy • M51 • NGC 5194

Object Description:

Face-on Spiral Galaxy with Companion

Position (J2000):

R.A. 13h 29m 52.37s
Dec. +47 11' 40.8"


Canes Venatici


About 9.6 Mpc (31 million light-years)


The image is roughly 9.3 kpc (30,000 light-years) in the vertical dimension.

Visual Magnitude:


About the Data


The release image of M51 was created from WFPC2 archived HST data from science programs by N. Scoville (Prop 7375), H. Ford (Prop 5123), and R. Kirshner (Prop 5777). HST data have been superimposed onto BVRI and Ha ground-based data, taken by Travis Rector (NOAO) at the 0.9 meter telescope located on Kitt Peak, Tucson, AZ (NOAO/AURA/NSF).



Exposure Dates:

January 15/24, 1995; July 21, 1999

Exposure Time:

5.7 hours


Prop 7375: F439W (B), F555W (V), F656N (Ha), F814W (I)
Prop 5123: F547M (y), F656N (Ha)
Prop 5777: F439W (B), F555W (V), F814W (I)

Ground-based Data: B, V, R, I, Ha 0.9-meter telescope KPNO (NOAO/AURA)

Principal Astronomers:

N. Scoville (Caltech), M. Polletta (U. Geneva), S. Ewald and S. Stolovy (Caltech), R.Thompson and M. Rieke (U. of Arizona)

H. Ford (JHU), B. Margon (University of Washington), A. Davidsen (JHU), R. Bohlin (STScI), E. Beaver (UCSD), F. Bartko (Bartko Science & Technology), R. Harms (RJH Scientific, Inc.), R. Angel (University of Arizona), M. Burbidge (UCSD)

R. Kirshner (Harvard University), N. Panagia (STScI), N. Suntzeff (NOAO/CTIO), B. Leibundgut (ESO Germany), A. Filippenko (UC Berkeley), C. Fransson (Stockholm University), J. Wheeler (U Texas Austin)

About this Image

Image Credit:

NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Release Date:

April 5 , 2001 9:00 a.m. (EDT)