Image acquisition and pre-processing 75% by Torsten Grossmann - Observatory. 25% acquired @ Stargazer-Observatory.
Postprocessing by Stargazer-Observaory. Also available as NASA APOD.
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).