Discovered on New Year's Eve 1774 by Johanes Elert Bode (together with
M82), M81 is one of the nearsest galaxies beyond the local group. It is
easily visible in a small telescope, and a few eagle eyed observers have
reported seeing it visually from exceptionally dark sites. A 10 inch telescope
will show the spiral arms if conditions are right.
The fuzzy galaxy below M81 in the wider shot is the dwarf galaxy Holmberg IX.
Click on image below for full size version
M81 (NGC 3031). 'Bode's Galaxy'
Imaged through January , February and March 2010, with additional data from 2008 added also.
Telescopes TMB152 & 14 inch LX200
Luminance. 46 x 10 minutes
One shot colour data with LX200. 45 x 6 minutes.
Total imaging time. 18 hours 23 minutes.