Bode’s Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy

Designation: M81 (Bode’s) – M82 (Cigar)
Hemisphere: Northern
Constellation: Ursa major
Distance: 12 million light years
Object type: Interacting galaxies

Description

The Bode’s Galaxy (right) and Cigar Galaxy (left) are two interacting galaxies bound together by a strong gravitational pull. The Bode’s Galaxy is a spiral galaxy named after Johann Elert Bode, who discovered it in 1774, whereas the Cigar Galaxy is an irregular galaxy with an elongated shape that resembles a cigar as seen from Earth.

The gravitational interaction has affected shape and composition of the two galaxies dramatically. According to NASA, stars are being born around the Cigar Galaxy’s core about 10 times as quickly as they are throughout the entirety of our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

In this image I also captured two smaller galaxies: the dwarf galaxy NGC 2976 and the disrupted elliptical galaxy NGC 3077.

Click on the image to enlarge

Equipment

Mount: Sky-watcher HEQ5-Pro
Main Telescope: William Optics ZS73EDii
Main camera: ZWO ASI294MC-Pro
Main camera filters: Optolong L-Pro + Optolong UV/IR Cut
Guidescope: AstroEssential 50/200
Guide camera: ZWO ASI174MM
Guide camera filter: Astronomik UV/IR cut

Acquisition details

Total integration time: 12 hours 10 minutes
Acquisition software: ZWO AsiAir
Processing software: PixInsight – GIMP
Location: France

Full size image

Click on the image to enlarge

Where the universe begins…