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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2009

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Cigar Galaxy (M82) , Christopher Dykstra

Spiral Galaxy

This Irregular Galaxy is found in the galaxy Ursa Major, Discovered by Johann Elert Bode on December 31,1774. It is commonly referred to as M82 or Messier 82, as well as the Cigar Galaxy. It can appear to be an irregular galaxy, and could have been a deformed disk galaxy. This is an exciting galaxy that is mostly known for the concentrated, newly forming of stars. An interesting fact about this Cigar Galaxy is that it is the brightest galaxy in the sky under infrared. The galaxy also emitted an explosive gas flow which was a robust origin of radio noise. The gasses are caused by the outflow of the active star formation. As the stars form inside the Cigar Galaxy there are colossal winds formed that exert gas and dust outward.

The Cigar Galaxy used to be similar in size to our own galaxy until the forces from M81, a neighboring galaxy, acted upon it and lost its spiral shape and began forming stars. You can easily see the dust cloud in the image pictured on the outer area of the galaxy. This dust cloud was spread out due to the neighboring galaxies interaction. The dust is what gives it its irregular shape because we are looking at the galaxy from the side view. The bright formations in the center are the newly formed or forming stars. The barrage of new star formation in M82 is 50 times more prevalent than other galaxies.The irregular shape does not fit into any category of galaxies, hence the "irregular" name. This Cigar Galaxy is part of a classification of galaxies that make up less than 20% of all galaxies, being irregular. M82 is approximately 12 million light years away. The linear size of the galaxy is 22,000 light years.

 

References:

Messier 82

<http://seds.org/messier/m/m082 >

Kuhn, Karl F. In quest of the universe. 3rs ed. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett, 2001. Print.

 

Right Ascension (J2000) 09:55:54
Declination (J2000) 69:40:57
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, B, R, V
Date observed

November 08, 2009 (C,B,V,R)