Messier 81 and Messier 82
Camera: Finger Lakes Instrumentation MicroLine ML8300 with FLI CFW-2-7 Filter Wheel
Mount: Losmandy G-11/Gemini
Scope: Astro Systemme Austria N8 Astrograph
Exposure Time: 370:100:100:180
Post-Production: MaxIm DL, CCDStack, PixInsight, and Photoshop CS3
This image was taken on the nights of April 26th and 27th of 2011. I processed this image to try to show some of the dim extended portions of the surrounding area and many smaller galaxies, which are scattered throughout the image. I am pleased with the way the imaged turned out. Description from APOD On the left, surrounded by blue spiral arms, is spiral galaxy M81. On the right, marked by red gas and dust clouds, is irregular galaxy M82. This stunning vista shows these two mammoth galaxies locked in gravitational combat, as they have been for the past billion years. The gravity from each galaxy dramatically affects the other during each hundred million-year pass. Last go-round, M82's gravity likely raised density waves rippling around M81, resulting in the richness of M81's spiral arms. But M81 left M82 with violent star forming regions and colliding gas clouds so energetic the galaxy glows in X-rays. In a few billion years only one galaxy will remain.