M 82

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Observation place
New Mexico


TelescopePlanewave 431mm - 17 ″, 1mm FL, f / 940 with focal reducer
MountPlanewave Ascension 200HR (FLI)
Imaging cameraMicroline PL6303E (FLI) - regulated at -35o Celsius
Image typeLHa (RHaVsB) (Vs for synghetic green)
LHa: Luminance using the clear filter + the Ha filter
RHa: Red layer using red filter + Ha filter
This composition was used to bring out emission nebulae in the galaxy
ExhibitionLuminance (10 x 10 'bin 1 × 1), Ha (4 x 10' bin 1 × 1) R and B (4 x 3 'bin 2 × 2 each)
PretreatmentMaxim DL
TreatmentPhotoshop and PixInsight
Specific treatmentCreate a synthetic green image

Object description

Object typeIrregular Galaxy "The Cigar Galaxy"
ConstellationBig bear
Visual magnitude 8,4
Surface gloss12,5
Distance12,7 million light years
Diameter42000 light years
Dimension seen from Earth11 x 5,1 arc minutes
M82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy, is an irregular galaxy located in the constellation Ursa Major about 12,7 million light-years away. Its diameter is 42000 light-years. M82 is about 5 times brighter than the Milky Way, and its center is hundreds of times brighter than that of our galaxy. The intense star formation is thought to stem from gravitational interaction with its neighbor M81. In 2014, astronomers discovered the ultra-luminous X-ray source (ULX) M82 X-2. It is the brightest pulsar known to date.

In 2005, the Hubble Space Telescope discovered 197 young massive star clusters near the core of M82. The average mass of these clusters is around 200000 solar masses. The core of M82 therefore constitutes a very dense environment of very high energy. At the center of M82, stars are forming at a rate 10 times faster than the entire Milky Way.

In a site without light pollution, we can see the duo formed by galaxies M81 and M82 with a pair of 10 × 50 binoculars. With a 200mm diameter telescope, M82 begins to show its irregular nature with an absorption band that emerges almost in the middle.

In my image, which was taken in a sky without light pollution (in New Mexico), we can appreciate the very great beauty of the galaxy. In order to bring out the star formation regions in the center of the galaxy (places where there are emission nebulae), I integrated a Hydrogen-Alpha filter in my series of images, which allowed to bring out this region in very beautiful red tones.
Richard Beauregard
Sky Astro - CCD
My impression "We cannot be alone in this gigantic universe"