M51 is well placed

2017 Apr 13

Dominic Ford – originally published on In-The-Sky.org

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°16', it is easiest to see from the northern hemisphere and cannot be seen from latitudes much south of 22°S.

From London (click to change), it will be visible all night. It will become visible at around 21:23 (BST) as the dusk sky fades, 55° above your eastern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight at around 04:39, 55° above your western horizon.

At magnitude 9.6, 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 precise position of M51 is as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
M51 13h30m00s +47°16' Canes Venatici 9.6 0'05"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of In-The-Sky.org