M81 & M82 - Bode's & Cigar Galaxies
First Light for the Bush Telescope!
M81 & M82 Galaxies
M 81 and M82 - Bode's and Cigar galaxies are in the Ursa Major (BigDipper) constellation.
M81 and M82 Galaxies are 12 million light years away from the Milky Way and just 100,000 light-years apart from each other. M81 - the galaxy on the left is gravitationally tugging at M82 and causing it to have a burst of star birth. It is called a star-bust galaxy for this reason. You may see red tendrils sticking out of this edge-on galaxy captured in this image. M81 is seen from a graceful angle with its glorious spiral arms slightly warped as well.
We are seeing these Galaxies as they existed 12 million years ago - Earth was in the late Miocene era when the earliest ancestors of humans (Homo) had split away from the apes. The telescope is truly a time machine! I can imagine that perhaps thousands of civilizations from M81 and M82 are looking back at us from their own high school telescopes!
Each exposure in this integrated image was 30 seconds long. 300 such images were obtained, “stacked” and processed digitally to improve the signal to noise ratio. The total integrated exposure time was 2 hours and 10 minutes.