M82 – The Cigar Galaxy

In the constellation Ursa Major, you can find M82, The Cigar Galaxy. M82 is part of a group of galaxies, called the M81 group. M82 and M81 (Bode’s Galaxy) are the brightest members of the group. M82 and the associated group are fairly close, only 12 million light years away, making it a fairly easy galaxy to image due because it is so bright.

The starburst activity, shown in yellow/orange color, is due to M82 interacting with M81. The starburst activity is better seen with the use of a hygrogen-alpha filter.


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NGC 6543 – Cat’s Eye Nebula

The Cat’s Eye nebula is a planetary nebula in the constellation Draco. A planetary nebula is the ejected shell of a red giant star at the end of a medium sized star’s life. This particular planetary nebula is around 3,300 light years away. The small fuzzy object to the right is the barred spiral galaxy NGC 6552, which lies 350 million light years away.


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M63 – Sunflower Galaxy

The M95 galaxy, the Sunflower Galaxy (also known as NGC 5055), is located in the constellation Canes Venatici. It is a spiral galaxy 29 million light years away. The galaxy is active (weakly), which means it is producing stars in the red regions. Those regions are hydrogen emissions (hydrogen-alpha).


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The M95 galaxy (also known as NGC 3351), located in the constellation Leo, is a barred spiral galaxy 32 million light.


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