Finally capture this galactic couple!

M82 has always been one of my favourite galaxies. Living in light polluted Salthill, it is also just about the only galaxy that can be viewed in any detail.

M82 – the Cigar Galaxy is shown to the bottom left and M81 – Bodes Galaxy is the spiral to the upper left. This object needs darker skies and longer exposures it seems.

Note the explosive look to M82. It is thought that this was caused by the gravitational pull on it by M81 in a distant close encounter. The massive force of the gravity caused a huge upsurge in star formation in this elliptical galaxy. Way cool!


Sac10 + Megrez 90FD + Celestron f6.3 FR 2x200sec + 6×120 sec + 1x480sec

Here’s the 2×2 binned version. Less exposure time but with binning I am in effect increasing the size of each pixel by a factor of 2×2 in the camera at the loss of resolution. This massively increases sensitivity because 1 pixel in the image uses the light from four pixel sensors rather than one! This, of course, removes the colour information however.

m81 m82

Sac10 + Megrez 90FD + Celestron f6.3 FR The camera was 2×2 binned for this image to increase sensitivity
6x200secs & 6x120secs.

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