Drawing of Messier 51 by William Parsons, the Third Earl of Rosse, compared to a more modern photograph. This demonstrates how acurate the Lord recorded finest detail in the spiral arms of this galaxy.
This object was the first "Spiral Nebula", i.e. deepsky object where spiral structure was detected, and it was Lord Rosse who detected this feature in 1845 (it was soon followed by M99 in 1848).
Last Modification: August 6, 2000, 14:00 MET