Whirlpool Galaxy Also known as M51a and NGC5194. The smaller galaxy in the lower right is a companion galaxy known as NGC5195 or M51b. First discovered by Charles Messier in 1773, and assigned the designation of M51. The companion galaxy was discovered eight years later by Pierre Méchain. It wasn't until William Parsons in 1845 that the spiral nature of this nebula was detected. This photo was taken by me in May of 2014 with a Nikon D80 mounted on a Celestron 9.25 inch Cassegrainian. Technical Data: RA 13h 29m52.7s DEC. +47º 11' 42" Distance: 23 ± 4 Mly Apparent Magnitude: 8.4 Apparent Size: 11.2' X 6.9'