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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2008

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Irregular Galaxy M82, Kevin Rooney


M82, also known as Messier 82, or the Cigar galaxy, is a massive starburst galaxy. M82 is around twelve million light-years away, and is in the constellation Ursa Major. The cigar galaxy is significantly brighter than our own Milky Way galaxy, even though my picture above may not display this. M82 is five times as bright as the whole entire Milky Way galaxy, that's pretty bright.

M82 is classified as an irregular galaxy, though it is also considered a disk galaxy. M82 has immense star-forming capacity which puts it in the category of a starbursting galaxy. M82 was discovered on December 31, 1774 by Johann Elert Bode. Bode found M81 as well, which is a galaxy that is very close to M82. Bode was quoted as calling the two of them a "nebulous patch." M82 is a magnificent galaxy, and unfortunately my picture does not do it any justice. Image was created on MaximDL, but for some reason the image came out much more blurry.

Angular Size= 4.58 archminutes.

Linear Size= 15,984 light years.

Messier 82. Johann Elert Bode in 1774.


Wikipedia. Messier 82.


Right Ascension (J2000) 09:55.8
Declination (J2000) +69: 41
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x15 seconds BVR, 10x10 seconds C
Date observed

March 19, 2009