Waid Observatory

Object: M81
Date: 01/17/2013           Location: Denton, Texas
Telescope: ATRC12    -    Mount: MI-250  -  Camera: ST-10XME   
Exposure: L = 180 min. (binned 1 X 1)  R - 60 min.  Syn G = (R+B)  B = 60 min. (binned 2X2)

Click on the image to view at higher resolution.

 

M81 - Bode's Galaxy

M81 - Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major 1

Discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1774.

M81, also known as Bode's Galaxy, is located in the constellation of Ursa Major and is approximately 12 million light years distant.  It is relatively bright with a total visual magnitude of 6.8 and can been viewed easily with most amateur telescopes.  M81 is a large spiral galaxy and is the dominant galaxy of the M81 group.  M82 is a smaller galaxy located only about 150 thousand light years from M81.  In the relatively recent past, in astronomical terms, the two galaxies interacted gravitationally as they passed in close proximity.  M82 apparently was the "loser" in this encounter and was disrupted to a greater extent by M81's much larger gravitational mass.  The small, faint, galaxy, located at the 8:30 position in the image above, is designated Homlberg IX.  Measurements of the age of its stars has determined the galaxy was formed approximately 200 million years ago, making it the youngest nearby galaxy to the Milky Way.

1http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m081.html

 
Copyright Donald P. Waid