M61 – The Swelling Spiral | Craig & Tammy Temple

Craig & Tammy Temple
Location of photo
Hendersonville, TN
Date/Time of photo
April 11 & 12, 2010
Celestron C8 Schmidt-Cassegrain at f/6.3; Orion Atlas EQ-G, off-axis guided; Modified Canon Digital Rebel T1i; Astronomik CLS-CCD EOS Clip; 38 x 480sec @ ISO 800
M61 (NGC4303) is a magnitude 10.18 spiral galaxy located about 52 million light-years distant in the constellation Virgo. It was discovered on May 5, 1779 by Barnabus Oriani while searching for a comet. Charles Messier saw M61 this same night, but thougt it was the comet. After a few days of observing the object, he realized that it was not, in fact, the comet, but a nebula (which was later determined to be a galaxy).
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