M81

The Milky Way is but one of billions.
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Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

M81

Post by Christopher K. »

M81 (also catalogued as NGC 3034) is a spiral galaxy. When Messier added it to his catalog, he wrote "This nebula is a little oval, the centre clear and can be seen well in an ordinary telescope of three-and-half feet [one meter]...".

As M81 and M82 are less than a degree apart, the culmination times for M82 (listed in the M82 thread) should work for M81 as well. A magnification of 18x to 25x shows the pair very nicely. Johan Bode discovered both galaxies in December 1774. They are only 150,000 light-years apart! They lie eleven to twelve million light-years away in Ursa Major.

M81 is used as the April image in the 2014 Astronomy calendar from Brown Trout Publishers. The image bears a striking resemblance to one showing infrared data from Spitzer.

More information:
Burnham's Celestial Handbook, pp. 1983-1987.
http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/M/M81.html

Christopher K.
Posts: 5468
Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: M81

Post by Christopher K. »

Bode's Galaxy may be found this week. If you're fortunate enough to have a FunScope or FirstScope, try your hand at the hunt. Light accumulation and stacking and processing via photography can yield images like this...
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190417.html

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