Galaxies & Star Clusters - Barry Wilson
Messier 81 and 82

Messier 81 and 82

Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Due to its proximity to Earth, large size and active galactic nucleus (which harbors a 70 million M☉ supermassive black hole), Messier 81 has been studied extensively by professional astronomers. The galaxy's large size and relatively high brightness also make it a popular target for amateur astronomers.

Messier 82 (also known as NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy or M82) is a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. A member of the M81 Group, it is about five times more luminous than the whole Milky Way and has a center one hundred times more luminous than our galaxy's center. The starburst activity is thought to have been triggered by interaction with neighboring galaxy M81. As the closest starburst galaxy to Earth, M82 is the prototypical example of this galaxy type. SN 2014J, a type Ia supernova, was discovered in the galaxy on 21 January 2014. In 2014, in studying M82, scientists discovered the brightest pulsar yet known, designated M82 X-2 (Wikipedia).

This is an LRGB image comprising 24 x 600s of Luminance and 9 x 600s each of Red, Green and Blue, for a total of 8.5hrs integration. Captured with a William Optics FLT132 at F7 using a TMB field flattener; 10 Micron GM1000HPS mount; QSI683-wsg8 ccd; Astrodon LRGB filters. March 2017.

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