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M51: Hunting for the cloud

The whirlpool Galaxy M51 (NGC 5195/94) is a well observed object. You might think from an observer perspective there is not very much new, except you use the biggest / last generation telescopes. In this particular case, by surprise, it's different. A.E Watkins et. al. reports in a preprint submitted by April 06th, 2018 "DISCOVERY OF A VAST IONIZED GAS CLOUD IN THE M51 SYSTEM" He and the Co-Authors perform very carefull ground base exposures using a 24 Inch Schmidt-Telesope located at Kit Peak with subsequent image processing and uncovers a cloud nobody has seen before. 

Stimulated by this discovery, I started to work on M51 too. Up to know, I was not able visulize the new cloud, but I was able to perform the deepest M51 images, I ever have done with my 20 Inch Newton.

 

m51-cloud_selztal-observatory.png?nc=152

Left:  Figure 1 out of pre print A.E. Watkins.
Right: my image, 7x1200s H-Alpha 35nm. Image settings done to show the shape around M51. But clearly no indication on my image for the new discovered closed. 

 

Left:  M51 (NGC 5194/95) 

Selztal Observatory 
Friesenheimer Lichteimer (20 Inch Newton, f=2030)
H-Alpha (35nm):  7x1200s
Dark and Flatfield corrected

Carefull inspection and comparison with SDSS Data Release 12 (2014) indicates that limiting magnitude is about 21.3 in H-Alpha channel. This is better than DSS1 and 2. 
(Keeping in mind that the lelescope is located in the backyard with certain light pollution around.)

Click on image for enlarged version. 

So, after having this small success, I'll continue working on famous M51.