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RobH

M82. (aka. NGC 3034, ARP 337)

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M82, the Cigar Galaxy, really needs no introduction.

Discovered, together with M81, on New Years Eve 1774 by Johann Elert Bode, M82 is 12 million light years away in the constellation of Ursa Major, and is an easy target for even small amateur telescopes, with a fair bit of structure visible to the eye.

I have seen structure in this galaxy with a 4 inch achromat, and in a larger instrument, a lot of detail can be made out.

This is destined to be part of a mosaic of the region, whicch I still have a small amount of data to grab before I can finish it.

Distorted by gravitational tidal forces from a close encounter with the larger M81, there are regions of intense star forming activity going on here, 10 times as energetic as in our own galaxy.

The spouts of gas heading out of the galaxy at high velocity are powered by supernova explosions that are thought to occur as frequently as once every 10 years.

M82 is the brightest infra-red object in the sky, and is thought to have very little dark matter surrounding it, as the rotational velocity of its outer regions drops off much more rapidly than is usual in other galaxies.

Not a pleasant environment for fragile creatures like us!

I imaged this in 2008 with my 14 inch Meade SCT and an Atik 16HRC colour camera, and when I came to stack the recent colour data, added the red, green and blue stacked masters to the stack of recent subs.

This had the effect of significantly improving the S/N ratio, and gave great depth to the colour.

Captured and stacked with Maxim DL4

Different scope/camera images were registered with Registar

Post processing with Photoshop CS2.

Full sized image here....

pic and description page

Luminance. TMB 152 & SXVF H16. 23 x 10 minutes

H-Alpha. TMB 152 22 x 10 minutes

Red, Green & Blue. TMB 152 & Atik 16HR 15 x 6 minutes for each filter

RGB (LX200 & Atik 16HRC) 45 x 6 minutes.

Total imaging time. 16 hours 30 minutes.

Cheers

Rob

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Superb Rob! You've definitely got more detail in the starburst than I've managed.

The mosaic should be something!

Jordan

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Very nice Rob, and maybe the best image I have seen of this object, well worht the effort you have put into it.

Gary

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Wonderful job Rob. Worthy of a solo appearance, so nothing else can distract the viewer away from it.

Splendid indeed.:eek:

It's great too, that so much Information always accompany's your work.

Ron.

Edited by barkis

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Very nice - poor M82 tends to get a bit overshadowed by M81 so it's nice to seee it getting some well deserved attention. A quite beautiful sight in its own right.

A lovely image and a target I'd like to return to this spring if I get a chance (and a clear sky)

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Outstanding image as always Rob, all that hard work has really paid off, the lovely natural tones and detail is remarkable, really gives a sense of depth, I could lose myself looking at this, the more you look the more you see, awesome, look forward to the mosaic.

Carl

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As always Rob, the time you put in at the scope really shows in the final result.

Mike.

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That really is a stunning image, Rob, and I love how you've got other little tiny galaxies going on in the background. Mind blowing.....

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Thanks for the kind words all :eek:

I was very happy with the way this came out, and adding the older data really helped.

It's true that it does often get overshadowed by M81, which is a shame as in my opinion it is a much more interesting object, having all the starburst activity going on.

The M81 part of the mosaic next I think!!

Cheers

Rob

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Outstanding, especially in the way you have incorporated the Ha so that it enhances the red without creating unwanted side effects. Lovely and unforced.

Olly

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Another fine image with that TMB of yours Rob.

John.

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