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Image Details: M082

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Object/Name: M082 (NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy) Image Details:
Type: Irregular Galaxy Luminance:5.00 min. (18) – 90.00 min. 1x1
Constellation: Ursa Major Red:5.00 min. (15) – 75.00 min. 2x2
RA: 09 hours 55.8 minutes Green:5.00 min. (16) – 80.00 min. 2x2
Dec: +69 degreees 41 minutes Blue:5.50 min. (14) – 77.00 min. 2x2
Distance: 12.0 - 17.0 million light years Total Time:322 minutes
Magnitude: 8.4 mag   
Size: 4.3 x 11.2 arc minutes   
Imaging Dates: 1 - 29 February 2008   
Location: New Ringgold PA
Mount: Paramount ME CCD: SBIG ST-8XME
Fliter Wheel: SBIG CFW-8 Guiding: ST-8XME integral guiding chip controlled by MaximCCD
Software Used:
  CCDStack MiraPro Professional
Photoshop CS2 Russel Croman’s Gradient Xterminator
Noel Carboni’s Astronomy Tools  
Detailed Information:
This image was taken by Frank Colosimo from his observatory in New Ringgold, PA (The Blue Mountain Vista Observatory). Frank was kind enough to share the excellent data he acquired and allow me to process it. This image is the result of that collaboration. The remainder of the write-up was provided by Frank.

M82 (NGC 3034), also known as the Cigar Galaxy, is a magnitude 8.4 galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major.

It is estimated to be 12 million light-years distant. It is usually classified as an irregular galaxy and is famous for its heavy star-forming activity. It is 'poster child' for the class known as starburst galaxies. The spectacular 'explosion' of material from its core is thought to be caused by severe gravitational disturbance from a close encounter with M81. This 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.

M82 was discovered in 1774 by Johann Bode, and independently by Pierre Méchain (Messier's colleague) in 1779.

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