M81 Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major


A few tens of million years ago, which is semi-recently on the cosmic time scale, a close encounter occurred between the galaxies M81 and M82. During this event, larger and more massive M81 (center) has dramatically deformed M82 (right) by gravitational interaction. The encounter has also left traces in the spiral pattern of the brighter and larger galaxy M81, first making it overall more pronounced, and second in the form of the dark linear feature in the lower left of the nuclear region. The galaxies are still close together, their centers separated by a linear distance of only about 150,000 light years.

Because with its total visual brightness of about 6.8 magnitudes, spiral galaxy M81 can be found with small instruments. Distance of M81 is 12 million light year. This wide-field image is obtained through Megrez 80 triplet fluorite apo at f6 (Canon EOS 300D, 400ASA, 40 minutes total exposure - an airplane fly through a field of view).

Galaxy pair obtained through a Megrez 80 Apo on Starlight Xpress SXVF M8C CCD camera. Image is composite of 2 hour total exposure (September 2006).


Close-up of spiral galaxy M81 on April 28. 2005 through a Celestron C 9,25 (Meade focal reducer f3,3; Pixcel 237 CCD, cooled at -6 degree; exposure: LRGB image.
Lumina: Track and accumulate, total exposure 45 min. Color (2x2 binning):Red: 20 min.; Gren 20 min.; Blue 30 min.).


My first image of M81: Celestron 8 at f/3,3 and Pixcel 237 CCD Camera. Luminance image is composite of 50x30 second exposure; Red 17x30 second ; Green 19x30 s and Blue 22x30 second. Images are processed in CCDSoft v5, AIP for Win and Photoshop.

(C) Copyright 1996 - 2022 by Andjelko Glivar. All rights reserved. This material may not be published in any form without permission.



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