M82 from BMV Observatories
Blue Mountain Vista Observatory New RInggold PA
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M82 (NGC 3034), also known as the Cigar Galaxy, is a magnitude 8.4 galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major. It is estimated to be 12 million light-years distant. It is usually classified as an irregular galaxy and is famous for its heavy star-forming activity. It is 'poster child' for the class known as starburst galaxies. The spectacular 'explosion' of material from its core is thought to be caused by severe gravitational disturbance from a close encounter with M81. This gas flow is also a strong source of radio noise, discovered by Henbury Brown in 1953. The radio source was first called Ursa Major A (strongest radio source in UMa) and cataloged as 3C 231 in the Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources. In the infrared light, M82 is the brightest galaxy in the sky. M82 was discovered in 1774 by Johann Bode, and independently by Pierre Méchain (Messier's colleague) in 1779.

Date: Mar 6-8 2010
Location: New Ringgold PA
Optics: Meade LX200R 14 inch at f/10
Mount: Paramount ME
Camera: SBIG STL11000
Guiding: Integral guiding chip controlled by MaximCCD
Exposure: LRGB: L 33x5 min, B 7x4 min, G 9 x 4 min, R 11x4 min, HA 4x5 min for a total of 4.9 hours
Processing: Image acquisition using CCD Autopilot. Initial processing was done using Maxim DL with subsequent processing with Photoshop.