Another new photo taken at Nutwood Observatory
M82 (Cigar Galaxy). Hi Res close-up (24 meg) CCD image LLRGB (6,3,2,2) hrs. Taken at Nutwood Observatory April 2011.
f9 Ceravolo, ME mount, guided subs 20 min
Messier 82 (M82, NGC 3034) is a remarkable galaxy of peculiar type in constellation Ursa Major. It is usually classified as irregular, though probably a distorted disk galaxy, and famous for its heavy star-forming activity, thus a prototype member of the class of starbursting galaxies.
Forming a most conspicuous physical pair with its neighbor, M81 (THE showpiece galaxies for many Northern hemispherers), this galaxy is the prototype of an irregular of the second type, i.e. a "disk" irregular. Its core seems to have suffered dramatically from a semi-recent close encounter with M81, being in a heavy starburst and displaying conspicuous dark lanes. This turbulent explosive gas flow is also a strong source of radio noise, discovered by Henbury Brown in 1953. The radio source was first called Ursa Major A (strongest radio source in UMa) and cataloged as 3C 231 in the Third Cambridge Catalogue of Radio Sources.
In the infrared light, M82 is the brightest galaxy in the sky; it exhibits a so-called infrared excess (it is much brighter at infrared wavelengths than in the visible part of the spectrum). This behaviour can also be observed for the companion of M51, NGC 5195, and the peculiar galaxy NGC 5128 (Centaurus A). The visual appearance is that of a silvery sliver, as John Mallas decribed it.
Recently, over 100 freshly-formed (young) globular clusters have been discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope. Their formation is probably another effect triggered by the encounter with M81. It was estimated that the most recent tidal encounter occurred between about 50 and several 100 million years ago: STScI's most recent number was 600 million years, when the 100-million-year-long period of heavier interaction began.
As a member of the M81 group, M82 is 12 million light years distant
Cigar Galaxy - NOW you're talking Geez.
Brilliant post as usual - thanks.