News Release Archive:

News Release 662 of 1051

April 5, 2001 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2001-10

Hubble Reveals the Heart of the Whirlpool Galaxy

Technical facts about this news release:

About this Object 
Obejct Name: Whirlpool Galaxy • M51 • NGC 5194
Object Description: Face-on Spiral Galaxy with Companion
Position (J2000): R.A. 13h 29m 52.37s
Dec. +47° 11' 40.8"
Constellation: Canes Venatici
Distance: About 9.6 Mpc (31 million light-years)
Visual Magnitude: 8.4

The image is roughly 9.3 kpc (30,000 light-years) in the vertical dimension.

About the Data 

The release image of M51 was created from WFPC2 archived HST data from science programs by N. Scoville (Prop 7375), H. Ford (Prop 5123), and R. Kirshner (Prop 5777). HST data have been superimposed onto BVRI and Ha ground-based data, taken by Travis Rector (NOAO) at the 0.9 meter telecope located on Kitt Peak, Tucson, AZ (NOAO/AURA/NSF).

Instrument: WFPC2
Exposure Dates: January 15/24, 1995; July 21, 1999
Exposure Time: 5.7 hour

Prop 7375: F439W (B), F555W (V), F656N (Ha), F814W (I)
Prop 5123: F547M (y), F656N (Ha)
Prop 5777: F439W (B), F555W (V), F814W (I)

Ground-based Data: B, V, R, I, Ha 0.9-meter telescope KPNO (NOAO/AURA)

Principal Astronomers: N. Scoville (Caltech), M. Polletta (U. Geneva), S. Ewald and S. Stolovy (Caltech), R.Thompson and M. Rieke (U. of Arizona)

H. Ford (JHU), B. Margon (University of Washington), A. Davidsen (JHU), R. Bohlin (STScI), E. Beaver (UCSD), F. Bartko (Bartko Science & Technology), R. Harms (RJH Scientific, Inc.), R. Angel (University of Arizona), M. Burbidge (UCSD)

R. Kirshner (Harvard University), N. Panagia (STScI), N. Suntzeff (NOAO/CTIO), B. Leibundgut (ESO Germany), A. Filippenko (UC Berkeley), C. Fransson (Stockholm University), J. Wheeler (U Texas Austin)

About this Image 
Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Release Date: April 5, 2001 9:00 a.m. (EDT)
Orientation: The Heart of the Whirlpool Galaxy