Messier 82

Image acquisition and pre-processing 75% by Torsten Grossmann - Observatory. 25% acquired @ Stargazer-Observatory.

Postprocessing by Stargazer-Observaory. Also available as NASA APOD.

Date: February, March, April, May 2011 - seeing 4-5(-6)/10; transparency 4-5/10

TorstenGrossmann: 7" TMB f/7 Apo: L 8h 1x1; HA 9h 1x1, 5.5 h RGB 2x2. SBIG ST4000

Stargazer-Observator: 9" TMB Apo f/9 L 3 hours 1x1 (good seeing!), RGB 2 hours 2x2. Starlight Xpress SXVF H16

Software: Maxim DL4 (TG), Astroart4(SO), CCDStack, PixInsight for pre-processing.

Postprocessing: PS CS5, Registax, and Pix InSight


Messier 82 is one of my favourite galaxies because it is such a beautiful target for visual observation! The galaxy is located in the constellation of "Big Bear" aka as "big dipper". You can spot the spectacular galaxy in a strong bino already. But when you observe M82 in a decent telescope of powerful light-collection capacity, it revelas a lot of the dust-lanes!

M82 is a so-called star-burst galaxy. This means, that stars form at a significant higher and more intense rate than in galaxies of comparable mass. One tends to believe this is linked to a dramatic gravitational effect, caused by the interaction with "near-by" M81. However, neary-by means 12 Mio Light-years. M82 is one of the best investigated "star-burst-galaxies".

The redish areas in the image represent Hydrogen that emits strongly in Infra-Red and Radiowaves. Thie close encounter of the two neighbourghing galaxies is fabled to have taken place some 400 Mio years ago. Based upon observations in near Infrared-, Infrared- and Radiospace-telescopes as well as X-ray examinations the core of the galaxy might hold more than only one supermassive black hole.

Far to the right in the image you can identify a bit of a lighter area in space. This is not an artefact but a result of the tidal-effects based upon the gravitational interaction of the two galaxies M82 and M81.

Learn more about that beauty here (click).


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