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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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M81 - Bode's Galaxy, Matt Northfell

M81

M81 is a spiral galaxy located in Ursa Major. Discovered in 1774 by Johann Elert Bode, it is easily recognizable especially in the northern hemisphere because it is extremely bright. The spiral structure of the galaxy is associated with active-star forming regions. The spiral arms are so prominent because they are filled with many young hot blue and blue-white stars. The nucelus or center of the galaxy is usually more red in color due to the presence of many older stars, but remains significantly bright due to the massive amount of concentration of stars. The distance of this obect is approximately 12000 kly.

The image itself is a beautiful display of the galaxy. Although it does not show the incredible colors, especially the prominent blues, of the galaxy, it does display it in great detail. The spiral arms are clearly visible and the differences between inner parts and outer parts of the galaxy are clearly shown. Overall this image does give the M81 the credit it deserves and truly exemplifies how wondrous God's creation truly is.

References:
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/galaxies/spiral.html

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

Right Ascension (J2000) 09:56:08
Declination (J2000) 69:02:20
Filters used clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 600 seconds in C
Date observed March 13, 2006

Estimated Angular Size

32 (kly)