M81 and M82
spiral galaxies in Ursa Major

M81_110499_96x_400p.jpg (29709 bytes)

10.1" reflector   96 x  Speers-Waler ep.

M81 is the large tilted spiral to the right, M82 the edge-on spiral at left.

These two galaxies make for an incredible pairing, at low and medium powers. M81 appears about 15' across, perhaps showing a slight hint of spiral structure on the corners. It has a very bright central core with two stars superimposed onto the nebula. M82, about 35' north, appears as a long thin nebulous bar about 8' long and 1.5' thick. Its' concentrated appearance makes it look slightly brighter than its' larger neighbour. There seem to be some brighter spots along the image, suggesting the rifts and knots that show up in long-exposure photos.

NGC 2976, M81, and M82 are all part of the M81 Group of galaxies.

North at 9 o'clock, East at 6 o'clock.



10.1'' reflector  Mallincam DS432cTEC with Nebular filter 
Exposure = 13 sec, Gain = 23/250, Live Stacked frames = 72
The rifts and knots are plainly visible in this photo. This galaxy is very bright and easily found even with low gain and exposures. The variance in colour along the length of the disk is quite striking.
10.1'' reflector  Mallincam DS432cTEC with Nebular filter 
Exposure = 20 sec, Gain = 50/250, Live Stacked frames = 100
The core of M81 is also easily found, however the extent of the spiral arms was a little challenging to pull out of the image, only becoming apparent late in the exposure. Beautiful creamy appearance was enhanced by cutting out much of the red part of the signal during the exposure.