Beluga Lake Observatory, Homer Alaska
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M81 and M82

 M81 and M82 by Thomas Kerns of Beluga Lake Observaory

Object: M81 and M82
Description M81 and M82 are perhaps the most famous pair of galaxies in the sky and both can be seen in the same low magnification field of view. Both are spiral galaxies but M81 is nearly face on, while M82 is edge on. The contrast offered by these two galaxies is one of the visual delights of the night sky. M81 is one of the brightest galaxies in the Messier catalog and can be seen with most binoculars. Long exposure photographs display two prominent spiral arms, which may also be observed with larger telescopes. M81 and M82 are separated by only 150 000 light years. Tens of millions of years ago, the larger (and ten times as massive) M81 passed close by its smaller neighbour, inducing a round of starburst formation in M82.
Scope Zenithstar 80 ED
Camera ST2000XCM
Filters Baader IR
Mount Losmandy G11
Guiding Self Guided
3.5 hours total exposure time (14x15min)



All photos on this site are the property of Thomas Kerns and may not be copied or reproduced without permission.