Bodes and Cigar

Galaxy season is definitely in full swing, and I have chosen to continue this part of the journey in the constellation of Ursa Major, more affectionately known as the Big Dipper. This section of the sky is home to numerous galaxies. Meet Bode’s Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy, catalogued as Messier 81 (M81) and Messier 82 (M82), respectively. M81 is spiral galaxy while M82 is a starburst galaxy, located some 12 million light years from Earth. This image has a total integration time of 7 hours with the Optolong L-Ultimate and CLS filters. The Bode’s Galaxy is one of the brightest galaxies in the night sky, though not visible with the unaided eye. The pair is located just northwest of the bright star Dubhe (in the corner of the Big Dipper bowl). We will continue our excursion through Ursa Major over the next few weeks. Stay tuned and remember to look up and experience an amazing Universe.

Gear: AA Hypercam 26C, Askar 80 PHQ, HEM27 mount, Optolong L-Ultimate; Optolong CLS; ZWO OAG + 120mc

Exif: 57 x 5-min lights (L-Ultimate); 31 x 5-min lights (CLS); Gain 200, Offset 3, TEC @ 10 degrees; 20 darks, 20 flats, 20 dark flats

SharpCap, PHD2; AstroPixelProcessor, PixInsight; Photoshop


  1. Fantastic Job!!
    I love these Galaxy photos! I’m looking at it on my big monitor screen and it really pops out!! I believe I observed these optically when I was in the VI, however, they were basically just bluish gray smudges. This is way better!!
    Wishing you clear skies my friend!

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