M81 and M82 in Ursa Major

Our Local Group of galaxies consists of two major members, the Milky Way and Andromeda, plus a couple dozen smaller ones. The nearest somewhat similar group lies 12 million light years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Its major members are seen here, with the large spiral M81 at the right. M82 is seen edge on, which makes its actual layout unclear. These bright galaxies are a prominent pair for amateur astronomers.

This was made with my 155mm refractor from nine 3-minute exposures at ISO 1600. At the time the galaxies were about as low in the sky as they get from my latitude.


Image copyright by Joe Bergeron.