Daily Archives: January 23, 2015

Cigar Galaxy, M82



Messier 82 (also known as NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy or M82) is a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. It is about five times more luminous than the whole Milky Way and one hundred times more luminous than our galaxy’s center. The starburst activity is thought to be triggered by interaction with neighboring galaxy M81, and M82 is a member of the M81 Group. As the closest starburst galaxy to our own, M82 is the prototypical example of this type of galaxy. SN 2014J, a Type Ia supernova, was observed in the galaxy on 21 January 2014. In 2014, in studying M82, scientists discovered the brightest pulsar yet known, designated M82 X-2.

M82 was previously believed to be an irregular galaxy. In 2005, however, two symmetric spiral arms were discovered in near-infrared (NIR) images of M82. The arms were detected by subtracting an axisymmetric exponential disk from the NIR images. Even though the arms were detected in NIR images, they are bluer than the disk. The arms were previously missed due to M82’s high disk surface brightness, our nearly edge-on view of this galaxy (~80°), and confusion by a complex network of dusty filaments in its optical images. These arms emanate from the ends of the NIR bar and can be followed for the length of 3 disc scales. Assuming that the northern part of M82 is nearer to us, as most of the literature does, the observed sense of rotation implies trailing arms.

  • Imaging telescopes or lenses: GSO RC12
  • Imaging cameras: Atik 4000
  • Mounts: Software Bisque Paramount MX
  • Guiding cameras: Lodestar
  • Focal reducers: AP CCDT67
  • Software: PixInsight
  • Filters: Baader Planetarium L 36mm,  Baader Planetarium B 36mm,  Baader Planetarium G 36mm,  Baader Planetarium R 36mm,  Baader Planetarium H-Alpha 7nm
  • Resolution: 2047×2047
  • Dates: Dec. 25, 2014,  Dec. 26, 2014,  Dec. 27, 2014,  Dec. 28, 2014,  Dec. 29, 2014
  • Frames:
    Baader Planetarium B 36mm: 13×450″ bin 2×2
    Baader Planetarium G 36mm: 13×450″ bin 2×2
    Baader Planetarium H-Alpha 7nm: 11×1800″ bin 1×1
    Baader Planetarium L 36mm: 62×900″ bin 1×1
    Baader Planetarium R 36mm: 13×450″ bin 2×2
  • Integration: 25.9 hours
  • Avg. Moon age: 5.45 days
  • Avg. Moon phase: 31.06%
  • RA center: 148.975 degrees
  • DEC center: 69.684 degrees
  • Pixel scale: 0.956 arcsec/pixel
  • Orientation: -3.604 degrees
  • Field radius: 0.384 degrees
  • Locations: Observatorio remoto Tomas Lopez en AstroCamp, Nerpio, Albacete, Spain

Author: Samuel