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M82: Cigar Galaxy in Ursa Major

RA = 9h 56 min; Dec = +69 deg 41 min

Date & Site:

Imaged on 05/28/2012: Runningman Observatory, Carlsbad CA

Conditions: 1st quarter moon; average seeing, low transparency; humid


Telescope: Celestron C9.25 at F6.3 fl=1480mm

Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini; Antares .63 reducer
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10 with Astrodon filters

Externally guided through an 80mm achromatic refractor


Exposures: 3 hrs of Ha (3 nm) in 10-min subs

Imaged in narrowband Ha only to bring out the bipolar starburst region

FOV = 19 x 13 arc minutes

Also known as the starburst galaxy, M82 lies about 12 million light years away. M82's unique bipolar outflow (or 'superwind') appears to be fueled by the energy injected by supernovae that occur about once every ten years. In April 2010, radio astronomers working at the Jodrell Bank Observatory of the University of Manchester reported an unknown object in M82. The object has started sending out radio waves, and the emission does not look like anything seen anywhere in the universe before.

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