M81 group

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M81 group: Bode's galaxy in Ursa Major is one of the brightest in the sky. This nice, classic, spiral galaxy is accompanied by nearby M82, the Cigar Galaxy, with which is is gravitationally interacting. There is conflicting evidence as to whether or not M82 is an edge-on spiral, or an irregular galaxy. In either case there are some interesting jets coming from the nucleus of M82. Also in the field of view is NGC 3077 in the upper left hand corner, and two much fainter companion galaxies closer to M81. In this image you can faintly make out some intergalactic wisps that are a result of the gravitational interactions.

Messier: 81
NGC: 3031
Right Ascension: 9h 55.5m
Declination: 69° 3' 55"
Apparent Magnitude: 6.9

Date: February 2012
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2
Telescope: Orion ED80T CF apo refractor with Televue 0.8x field flattener
Camera: SBIG ST-10XE
Guiding: ST-80 refractor/DSI Pro/PHD

Exposure: Lum: 15x10 minutes, binned 1x1
RGB: 8x5 minutes, binned 2x2

Processing Notes: Data acquisition with CCDSoft. Reduced and aligned in CCDStack and combined with Sigma Combine. Arcsine stretch import of L into Photoshop. Adjusted curves and levels. RGB combined 1:1.02:1.65 ratio. Adjusted curves and levels, and reduced noise of RGB. Numerous star blooming repairs. L was combined with RGB as a luminance layer. Final adjustment and crop in Photoshop.
Scale: ~3.6"/pixel

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