Whirlpool Galaxy, 19th century

Whirlpool Galaxy, 19th century

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Whirlpool Galaxy. 19th-century astronomical observation of the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51a, NGC 5194) and its smaller companion galaxy (NGC 5195, M51b). North is at top. They are some 23 million light years away, in the constellation of Canes Venatici. At the time, such objects were still thought to be nebulae. This 90-minute exposure was obtained in March 1897, from the observatory in Daramona, Westmeath, Ireland, operated by Irish astronomer William Edward Wilson (1851-1908), one of the pioneers of the new techniques of astrophotography. Published in 'Astronomical and Physical Researches' (1900).

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Keywords: 1800s, 1897, 19th century, amateur astronomy, astronomical, astronomy, astrophotograph, astrophotography, astrophysical, astrophysics, black-and-white, british, canes venatici, companion, daramona observatory, early astronomical photographs, european, galactic, galaxies, galaxy, historical, history, irish, long exposure, m51a, m51b, march, monochrome, ngc 5194, ngc 5195, night sky, observation, pioneering, space, spiral galaxies, spiral galaxy, telescope, universe, whirlpool galaxy, william edward wilson

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