"The sky is the ultimate art gallery just above us." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 82)
Astrophotography by Jason Jennings

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Galaxies :: M81-M82



Resolutions Available: 957x704 : 1915x1408
         Object Messier 81 and 82
         Comment Messier objects M81 (aka NGC3031, Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (aka NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy) are located in the constellation Ursa Major. M82 (left of frame) is an irregular galaxy undergoing a star burst where strong stellar winds from thousands of energetic new stars in the dense galactic core expel hot gases that extends outward. This is visible as folds of red ionised hydrogen alpha gas. The galaxy is considered irregular in shape, potentially due to a recent interaction with its galactic neighbour M81 as seen to the right of the image. M81 is a grand spiral galaxy and is one of the nearest galaxies outside our local group. It is the largest galaxy in a group of 34 galaxies. M81's gravitational interaction with nearby galaxy M82 has increased its blue starburst and pink HII regions, stripping matter from M82. Both galaxies reside approximately 12 million light years away.

The image is a LRGB composite. Data provided by Steve Cullen.
         Optics ASA 8" F/3.6 (720 mm FL)
         Camera Apogee Alta U8300 - 1x1 bin (image scale 1.54 arcsec/pix)
         Mount Software Bisque Paramount ME
         Exposure Total exposure time: 7.2 hours
         Date April 2011


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