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M81: Spiral Galaxy in Ursa Major

RA = 9 hrs 55 min; Dec = 65 deg 3 min

Date & Site:

Imaged between 1/14 and 1/17/2013; Runningman Observatory, Carlsbad

Conditions: calm; 45 degrees; very good seeing


Telescope: TEC 140 Refractor (F7 980 mm fl)
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini
Camera: ST-10XME; CFW10; prime focus guided


Exposures: 5 hours of Luminance; 45 min each RGB, and 3 hours of Ha for total of 10.25 hrs

This image is the result of an expriment to test whether high quality data from distant galaxies can be recorded from the backyard suburban environment with some interference from a 1st quarter moon. Very extended exposures are needed to reduce atmospheric noise from less than dark skies.

Discovered in 1774 by Johann Elert Bode, M81 dominates a larger group of 34 galaxies located in the constellation Ursa Major

FOV = 35 x 52 arc minutes (reduced 60% of original)

12 Million ly distant

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