Messier 81 and 82 - Galaxies in the Constellation Ursa Major
 
A wide field image of the area in Ursa Major surrounding the galaxies Messier 81 and 82.

Messier 81 is a spiral galaxy approximately 12 million light years distant and was discovered in 1774 by Johann Elert Bode and is sometimes referred to as "Bode's Galaxy."

Also approximately 12 million light-years away, within the same group of galaxies, is Messier 82 which has an irregular shape and resembles a cigar in some images.

More information on M81 and M82 is available at:

M81: http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m081.html

M82: http://www.seds.org/messier/m/m082.html

This image coverse several degrees of arc and was captured captured on Fuji ISO 800 color film over approximately 25 minutes of exposure using an Orion 80mm refractor.

   
An enlargement of the above image with scale added using the Aladin image analysis system http://aladin.u-strasbg.fr/).
   
An image captured from a slightly different perspective using a 10-inch Newtonian telescope and Fuji Sensia ISO 400 slide film.
   

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