Date: April 12/13/16 - 2023

73 x 5 minutes /RGB (6h 5min)
50 x 5 minutes /H-Alpha (4h 10min)
Total: 10h 15min

About This Image


Telescope: Sky-Watcher Equinox 120ED
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Camera: Player One Poseidon-C Pro (IMX571)
Filter: IDAS LPS-D3 2" • Optolong L-Ultimate
Accessories: ESATTO 2" Focuser • Astro Hutech SCA 2" Flattener
Guiding: SVBony SV165 Mini Guide Scope • ASI462MC
Software: Photoshop • PixInsight • TheSkyX • Starkeeper Voyager


The Pinwheel galaxy, also known as Messier 101, is a stunning spiral galaxy located about 21 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. It is one of the largest and brightest galaxies visible from Earth, spanning an impressive diameter of about 170,000 light-years. To put that into perspective, our own Milky Way galaxy is only about 100,000 light-years across. The Pinwheel galaxy gets its name from its striking spiral arms that resemble a spinning pinwheel when viewed from Earth. It is estimated to contain over a trillion stars, with a massive central bulge that is thought to house a supermassive black hole at its center.

Despite its immense size and distance, astronomers have been able to study the Pinwheel galaxy in detail using a combination of ground-based and space-based telescopes. In 2006, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured stunning infrared images of the galaxy, revealing a plethora of young stars and massive star-forming regions scattered throughout its spiral arms. The Pinwheel galaxy is also notable for its high rate of supernovae, with six supernovae having been observed in the galaxy over the past century. This makes it a popular target for astronomers studying stellar evolution and the dynamics of galaxies.

Distance: 21 Million light-years
Size: 170,000 light-years


Annotated Version

Location in the Night Sky

(Annotation & Star Chart created using PixInsight)


All Images    Craig Sherris