Thursday, March 6, 2014

Great Bear fuzzies

Great Bear constellation is well known undeer the northern hemisphere. This large constellation lies far away from the Milky Way plane, so there should be visible a lot of galaxies that will not be obscured by Milky Way dust and gas clouds. And there are :)
The brightest galaxy in this area is Bode's Galaxy M81. It is the largest member of so called M81 Group, that contains about 30 identified members. The group is about 12 million light years away and is the part of Virgo Supercluster. Second largest member is M82 Cigar Galaxy where about one months ago a supernova star has exploded. These two galaxies are really prominent - all other M81 Group members are quite small. On the picture below I gave up on M82 and shot M81 with NGC3077 galaxy. The latter one is small galaxy discovered by William Herschel in November, 1801. He wrote about it:
"On the nF (NE) side, there is a faint ray interrupting the roundness." Admiral Smyth described it as "A bright-class round nebula; it is a lucid white, and lights up in the centre ... between these [stars,] the sky is intensely black, and shows the nebula as if floating in awful and illimitable space, at an inconceivable distance."
The dusty lines in the NGC3077 are a result of strong gravitational interactions between all three galaxies (M81, M82 and NGC3077) and this small galaxy is also a place where many star formation regions are present. NGC3077 is neither spiral nor elliptical galaxy - it is of type I0 peculiar. So take a look into peculiar galaxy NGC3077 :)

And the whole frame:

The picture above has been exposed over two nights with the Moon present and a little of high clouds, so not really a good time for deep sky astrophotography. But I didn't want to waste a reasonably clear night and decided to picture this frame anyway.

Clear skies!

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