A Deep Wide Field Shows Alkaid Star and Blue Snail M51 Immersed in the Faint Dust of IFN


A deep wide field view captured with a telephoto prime lens of 300mm, shows the blueish variable star Alkaid, from Ursa Major, shining close to a tiny blue snail lying at a distance of 31 million light-years away, near the boundaries of constellation Canes Venatici. This small snail named M51, is actually the Whirlpool Galaxy. It’s an interacting spiral galaxy, with 60 thousand light-years in diameter which has a smaller companion with an intriguing shape, named NGC 5195. The main galaxy of this duet, seems to interact with its small companion galaxy (at left on the portrait view, or up, in the landscape version) creating a faint tidal of debris that seems to spread while vanishing in space. This deep wide field scene comprise 10,5 hours of accumulated sub-exposures to help reveal some of the faintest diffuse clouds from IFN, where this duet Alkaid- M51 seems to be immersed in. The gas and dust from Integrated flux nebulas (IFN) lies beyond the main body of our Milky Way Galaxy and it’s almost invisible in exposures with less than 5h in clear dark skies. The image was captured from Cumeada Observatory, official headquarter of Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, Portugal.

PT: Uma visão ampla e profunda captada com uma lente prime de 300mm mostra a estrela variável e azulada Alkaid, da Ursa Maior, brilhando perto de um “minúsculo caracol azul” localizado a uma distância de 31 milhões de anos-luz de distância, perto dos limites da constelação de Canes Venatici. Este pequeno caracol chamado M51, é na verdade a Galáxia Whirlpool. É  uma galáxia espiral interagente, com 60 mil anos-luz de diâmetro, que possui uma companheira menor e com uma forma intrigante e peculiar, chamada NGC 5195. A galáxia principal deste dueto, parece interagir com a companheira de viagem mais pequena (à esquerda na versão da imagem vertical, ou acima, na versão da imagem horizontal), criando uma leve maré de detritos que parecem espalhar-se enquanto desaparecem suavemente no espaço profundo. Esta visão de campo amplo e profundo compreende 10,5 horas de subexposições acumuladas para ajudar a revelar algumas das nuvens difusas e ténues da IFN, onde este dueto Alkaid-M51 parece estar imerso. O gás e a poeira da Nebulosa de Fluxo Integrado (IFN) fica além do corpo principal da nossa Via Láctea e é quase invisível em exposições com menos de 5h em céus límpidos e livres do poluição luminosa. A imagem foi captada no Observatório da Cumeada, Sede Oficial da Reserva Dark Sky® Alqueva, Portugal.


Technical details | Detalhes Técnicos

Canon fixed prime lens 300mm f/3.5 + Canon 6D modified | ISO2500 – Sub Exp. of 70 seconds each.  Mount EQ6 Pro – Auto-guiding off |Total integration of 631 minutes (10,5h). Processing on PixInsight 1.8.9 and Photoshop CC 2022. Cumeada Observatory from Dark Sky® Alqueva Reserve, Reguengos de Monsaraz. 


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