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Messier 81 and Messier 82
Messier 81 and Messier 82
Description: M81, on the Right, is a large bright spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. Next to it is M82, an irregular, cigar-shaped galaxy. The distance to M81 is given by various authorities of about 7 million light-years , the fact still remains that it is the most distant object visible to the naked eye. M82 is usually given the same distance as M81, but the author who quotes 4.5 million light-years for M81 gives 17 million light-years for M82. These are probably the most accurate values for the distances to these galaxies. M82 contains a dark dust lane bisecting the galaxy along its short axis. This feature is almost overexposed in this photograph. A reddish glow is visible on either side of the galaxy. This is a feature of the violent nature of M82. About 40 million years ago, M81 passed by M82, and the gravitational shock wave from this near-collision caused gas clouds within M82 to collapse triggering incredible amounts of star formation. As the most massive new stars began to die off, large numbers of supernovae explosions wracked the galaxy adding to the chaos.

Date Taken: 2/14/2008
Views: 7142
City: N Billerica MA
State: massachusetts
Zipcode: 01862
Country: United States
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Classic Comments
Incredible shot. I am amazed that this quality shot can be taken at home! -- weathermatrix
Impressive. 2 down. 150 billion to go. Keep up the good work. -- mrcorbin
slicker than goosepoop shot! -- cowboy
Uploaded on 2/15/2008
by astronight
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Astronomy   spiral   star   Astrophotography   galaxy   Messier   81   82   M81   M82   Irregular  

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