The Cigar Galaxy (M82)

Posted by Oleg Bryzgalov
on Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82, as this irregular galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn't fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however. Recent evidence indicates that this gas is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds of many stars, together creating a galactic "superwind." The above photo highlights a specific color of red light strongly emitted by ionized hydrogen gas, showing detailed filaments of this gas. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light years. The 12-million light-year distant Cigar Galaxy is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared light, and can be seen in visible light with a small telescope towards the constellation of Ursa Major.
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This photo was taken during february-march , processed in april 2011 in village Khlepcha near Kiev, Ukraine.
Equipment: Telescope SW 25012P 1200 mm f/5, Mount WS-180, camera QSI-583wsg, Baader MPCC. Off-axis guidecamera Orion SSAG.
Ha and LRGB filter set Astronomik.
H-a: 14*15 min., bin. 1x1
L: 9*10 min., bin 1x1 , RGB: 9*10 min., bin.2x2 in each filter.
North at left Crop center, size 70% .

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