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Astronomical Observatory: Cool Images

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2006

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Bode's Galaxy (M81), Jen Harkema

Bode's Galaxy M81

This beautiful picture of Bode’s galaxy (M 81) that is found in the Ursa Major constellation was made by mosaicing two images together. Bode’s galaxy was discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1774.  This galaxy is one of the easiest to see with the naked eye under favorable viewing conditions of course!  This is amazing considering this spiral galaxy is 12 million light years away with a linear diameter of 69,813 light years.   The spiral shape of this galaxy is credited to star formation.  Spiral arms form in areas of active star formation.  If this image were in color, you would notice many blue stars.  These are very hot young stars that make the spirals visible.  The bright center (nucleus) of this galaxy is where one would see older red stars.  The presence of gas and dust particles tells us that many stars are being formed. The dark band just to the right of the nucleus is a collection of dust that is blocking the light from the stars. The dust and gas travel around the galaxy move in a sprial shape. As they travel around the galaxy the areas of dense dusk and gases form new starts. Galaxies can contain from 1-1000 billion stars!  This just goes to show the greatness of God’s creation. 

Spiral Galaxies. 9 Nov. 2006 <>.

Spiral Galaxies. 9 Nov. 2006 <>.

Frommert, Hartmut. Messier 81. Ed. Christine Kronberg. 9 Nov. 2006 <>.

Right Ascension (J2000) 09:55:33.5
Declination (J2000) 68:57:15
Filters used Clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 12x100 sec in C
Date observed

October 20, 2006




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