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M82 – The Cigar Galaxy

M82 - First Light with the 9.25 EdgeHD

M82 – The Cigar Galaxy

The Cigar Galaxy, also known as Messier 82, is a barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation Ursa Major. It is one of the brightest and most distinctive galaxies in the night sky and is visible through a small telescope. The Cigar Galaxy is estimated to be about 12 million light-years away from Earth, making it one of the closest galaxies to our own Milky Way.

The unique shape of the Cigar Galaxy is due to a process called “galactic winds.” These winds are created by the intense star formation that is taking place in the galaxy’s center, which is expelling gas and dust from the galaxy in a cylindrical shape. The intense star formation has also led to a higher rate of supernovae, which are exploding stars that release large amounts of energy and material into space.

The Cigar Galaxy is of particular interest to astronomers because it provides a rare opportunity to study the effects of galactic winds on a galaxy’s structure and evolution. The strong winds have created a galactic “superbubble” that is visible in X-ray and radio images, and are thought to be responsible for slowing down the galaxy’s rate of star formation. The Cigar Galaxy is also thought to be interacting with its companion galaxy, Messier 81, which is located close by in the night sky. This interaction could play a role in shaping the galaxies’ future evolution and provide valuable insights into the complex processes that govern the growth and evolution of galaxies in the universe.

Photographers Notes

First light with the new 9.25 EdgeHD and CGX was a short one spent dodging clouds. The clear sky chart showed bad seeing & transparency, but I figured I’d take advantage of the “low pressure” to take some quick shots of some of my favourites in the sky.

Most photos have less than 30 minutes of data on them and are all 3 minute subs… but even with minimal data I can see dramatic improvement in image clarity & colour versus my regular 8″ SCT. Plus… the stars at the outer edges of each photo look like… well… stars rather than mini footballs.

Cheers to a long, dark (and hopefully clear) winter!

Capture Details

Imaging Telescopes: Celestron EdgeHD 9.25″ 
Imaging Cameras: ZWO ASI294MC Pro 
Mounts: Celestron CGX 
Accessories: Celestron Focus Motor  · Celestron Reducer, 0.63x 
Software: NINA – Nighttime Imaging ‘N’ Astronomy Guiding Telescopes: Orion 50mm Guidescope
Guiding Cameras: Orion StarShoot AutoGuider 

Sky Map