April 2016 - Picture of the Month
M101 in the Constellation of Ursa Major
Image was provided courtesy of Bob and Janice Fera. Please click on the image to be taken to a much larger version on their website.
It's a challenge to pick a galaxy that Owen isn't going to use in the Galaxy of the Month. Fortunately he has a passion for the faint and obscure, so I thought I was on safe ground this month. That was until I read this month's Astronomy Now…
All the same I'm happy with my choice. M101 is not a particularly difficult object unless you have poor skies. That's exactly what I've got, so I've never seen more than a smudge of light under the best conditions, and that's reason enough to include this detail packed wide field image.
For those with small scopes or binoculars and skies like mine M101 can be an interesting hunt in itself. For something tougher why not go after its HII regions. It's also worth taking a look at the full size image on Bob and Janice's website, because there are plenty of other galaxies to chase in this field!
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.