M81 – Bode’s Galaxy

M81 – Bode’s Galaxy

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M81 (Messier 81, also known as Bode’s Galaxy) is a grand spiral galaxy about 12 million light years away.  It’s about the same size as our Milky Way, containing roughly 200 billion stars.  Because it’s somewhat close as galaxies go, it’s one of the best objects to observe and photograph; however, it’s a bit too dim to see with the naked eye.

To the lower left of the galaxy in the image, the small, dwarf galaxy Holmberg IX / PGC28757 can be seen.

Taken with 11″ Edge SCT with a .7x reducer and Canon T4i DSLR, the image consists of 25 10 minute exposures.  Of all objects in the sky, this is one of my favorites.

M81 - Bode's Galaxy (Annotated)
M81 – Bode’s Galaxy (Annotated)


Resolution ........ 0.451 arcsec/pix
Rotation .......... -54.131 deg
Focal ............. 2060.24 mm
Pixel size ........ 4.50 um
Field of view ..... 35' 12.1" x 23' 19.8"
Image center ...... RA: 09 55 28.111  Dec: +69 03 55.19