Clamecy, France, April 13th, 10pm local time, cold night and clear sky in Burgundy.
The moon will remain below the horizon for another hour. A few minutes were required to set up the new prototype of Unistellar’s Enhanced Vision TelescopeTM (a tuned 4.5-inch telescope). It is time to aim at the target of the night, the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51), in the constellation of Canes Venatici. It is really close to Alkaid, the first star of Big Dipper’s handle. After a few seconds, the spiral shape of the main galaxy is already visible in the eyepiece. As I follow with my eyes the spiral arms, trying distinguish the whole shape of the Galaxies, they are getting brighter and sharper. In a matter of few minutes, the Enhanced Vision reached its apex (see image below). It is truly amazing to see so many details from galaxies 20 million light years away from us, in the eyepiece of such a small instrument.