Image Details
About This Site
Image Gallery
Click for 100% Image

Dates & Location

9th - 11th Novemmber 2010 using the SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

NGC 3034
Sometimes called the Cigar Galaxy.

Equipment Used

Officina Stellare RC400 at 3304mm focal length.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-8L filter wheel.
TheSky V6 telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control


Where it is in space

In the constellation of Ursa Major, at a magnitude of 9.2 M82 can be seen through 7x50 binoculars. It is located about 10 degrees north of the star Upsilon Ursa Majoris. In this image North is to the left.

Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
LRGB exposures:- 120:105:75:105 mins total, using 15 min sub-exposures
-25°C. All images binned 1x1. AllC

  What it is

M82 is an irregular Galaxy which is believed to have been stirred up by a recent pass of the large spiral galxy M81 which is some 0.5 degrees to the south. This doesn't fully explain the source of the gigantic streams of 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" of ionized hydrogen gas. These show up as delicate filaments of red gas. The filaments extend for over 10,000 lights. M82 is approx 12 million light-years away and it is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared light.

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5/ TheSky6.  
  Data reduction with CCDStack. Lum and colour masters prepared and combined in CCDStack.  

Final LRGB image created using PhotoShop CS2.