The Cigar Galaxy ... Messier 82
(Click on Picture for larger view)

Added February 8, 2020 ...
The Cigar Galaxy ... Messier 82
This is a 3hr 48 min exposure of the 'Cigar Galaxy' taken during the night of February 7, 2020 with a 98% illuminated moon. The use of the Altair Quad-narrow-band filter greatly filtered out the excesssive moonlight. I am very impressed with the results.

Messier 82 is a galaxy appearing in our vantage view as 'edge on' and appears long and thin and is also known as the 'Cigar galaxy' due to the appearance in the shape of a cigar. It is about 11.5 million light-years from us and contains about 30 billion stars, many of which are forming at exceptionally high rates. My goal was to get the hot red core expelling outward perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy. This galaxy appears in the northern sky in early Februay around 8 pm in the constellation of Ursa Major, to the upper right of the big dipper.

The Techy Stuff ... For those who want to know ...
Telescope: 11" Celestron Edge HD at f/10
Mount: Celestron CGX
Mount setting and alignment via Celestron PWI software
Rig to Indoor Computer Connection: USB 2 196 feet Extender via cat 6 cable
System Alignment: Celestron StarSense
Camera: Altair Hypercam 294c Pro TEC
Binning: 2x2
Sensor Temp: -15°C (5°F)
Filter: Altair Quad-band OSC
Settings: Gain: 900
76 Sub-Frames at 180sec ea (3h 48m)
Calibration Frames: 20 Dark, 40 Flat, 40 Dark-Flats
Guiding: Orion Digital StarShoot Mono camera & 60mm Altair Scope
Guiding Software: PHD2 V2.6.7
Capture Software: SharpCap Pro
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker @ 2x Drizzle
Post processing in PixInsight & Photoshop CC
Focus Controller: Celestron Auto Focuser
Light Pollution: Bortle zone 4.5 (Barely can see the Milky Way)
Sky Condition: 10 (0-10 with 10 the clearest possible)
Lunar Interference: 98% Illuminated moon
Temperature: 39°F (3.9°C)
Date: February 7/8, 2020
Location: My Backyard, Savannah, GA

Bode's galaxy is very near the Cigar galaxy (M82) in the sky view. With a slightly wider field of view, you can see both galaxies in the same view. M82 is fainter than M81 and a very different type of galaxy. It's a starburst galaxy, in which stars are been formed at exceptionally high rates. Also known as the Cigar galaxy, M82 is the prototype object and provides a striking contrast to the near perfect spiral shape of M81. Even though these two galaxies are about 12 million light-years from earth, their actual distances from each other is about 150,000 light-years. They are the largest members of the M81 Group, a physical association of of 34 galaxies all bound together with a comon gravitational core.

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