Bode's Galaxy, M81 and Cigar Galaxy, M82

2017-05-17 / Image Details (Click on images to enlarge)

M82, also known as Cigar Galaxy, is a starburst galaxy located in the constellation Ursa Major. It is the closest starburst galaxy to Earth and serves as a prototype for this type of galaxy. The galaxy lies at a distance of 11.4 to 12.4 million light years from Earth and has a diameter of about 37,000 light years. Rich with dust, young stars and glowing gas, M82 is both unusually bright and relatively close to Earth. The Cigar Galaxy has a supermassive black hole at its core, one with a mass of about 30 million solar masses.

The Cigar Galaxy is strongly affected by the interaction with its larger neighbor M81 (Bode’s Galaxy), with tidal forces deforming the galaxy in a process that started some 100 or 200 million years ago. As a result of the encounter, star forming activity in M82 has increased tenfold compared to other galaxies. M81, also known as Bode's galaxy, is a large bright spiral galaxy located 11.8 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major. This galaxy is a perfect example of a spiral galaxy and exhibits near perfect and well defined spiral arms. The visual separation between the two galaxies’ centres is approximately 130,000 light years.

Technical Details

LocationZollikerberg, Switzerland
CameraNikon DSLR D810A
TelescopeSkywatcher Quattro 8CF 200 DS Fibre OTA Newton Carbon
Special LenseSkywatcher Newtonian F4 Coma Corrector
MountSkywatcher AZ-EQ6, EQASCOM, Stellarium
AutoguidingLacerta MGEN2 (Autoguiding, Dithering und Camera Control)
Camera ControlDigicamcontrol (Focus, Camera Control)
Lights49 x 120s (1h38'), ISO-800, additional Biases, Flats, no Darks
Stacking SoftwarePixinsight 1.8, Bayer Drizzle 2x
Image ProcessingPixinsight 1.8