This image shows two galaxies
in Ursa Major.
The left galaxy is M82, also known as the
Cigar Galaxy for it's distinctive shape. M82 is an irregular galaxy
although it most likely used to be a spiral galaxy. The right galaxy is M81, also known as
Bode's Galaxy. This galaxy is a spiral galaxy like our own Milky Way.
These galaxies are only about 150,000
light years apart and were much closer millions of years ago. At that
time, the much more massive M81 disrupted M82 causing an intense period of
star and globular cluster formation in the smaller galaxy. The echoes
of that collision are still being seen today. While M82 is visually a
comparatively bright galaxy, it truly shines in the infrared and is in fact
the brightest infrared object in the sky due to the stirring of the pot
still going on in the dust obscured regions of its core.
galaxies are about 12 million light years from earth.
Telescope: Orion 80 ED
Camera: Canon 20D
Mount: LX200GPS Piggyback,
Capture Software: EOS Viewer
Settings: f/7.5, ISO 800
30 x 2 minutes
1 hour total exposure.
Processing: Aligned, combined and post
processed in ImagesPlus. Balanced in Photoshop.