Below is an image that I took of M51 on June 8, 2011. A first-quarter moon was up and the sky was hazy, so the detail isn't that great. The supernova, now designated SN 2011dh, is as bright as many of the foreground stars in this image. Considering that M51 is 23 million light years away, that's pretty bright!
|SN 2011dh in M51; ST80 on Vixen SP; 14x180|
Below is the full-size version of the Epsilon-200 image. The moon was about 85% full that night, but the sky was much clearer than the other night.
|Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy; Epsilon-200 on NJP; 25x120|
SN 2011dh is the third supernova observed in M51 in the past 17 years, which is a remarkably high frequency considering that our own galaxy averages only one supernova every 50 years!