My Observation:

Taken: 4 May 2024 at 2:18 AM EST

Equipment: Unistellar Equinox2

General Information:

  • Messier Designation: M82
  • Type: Spiral Galaxy
  • Distance from Earth: 12,000,000 light years

M82, commonly known as the Cigar Galaxy, is a starburst galaxy located in the constellation Ursa Major, approximately 12 million light-years away from Earth. This galaxy is characterized by its intensely active star-forming regions, which have given it a unique, irregular cigar-like shape. The starburst activity in M82 is thought to have been triggered by interactions with its neighboring galaxy, M81, leading to a massive concentration of gas and dust in the galaxy’s core. This abundant material fuels the rapid birth of new stars at a rate about ten times higher than in typical galaxies. Additionally, M82 is recognized for its supernova events and the strong ‘superwind’ of ionized matter being expelled from its core, producing streaks known as ‘filaments’. Remarkably, M82 is the closest place to Earth where the conditions resemble those in the early universe, making it a focal point for astronomers studying galaxy formation and evolution.

Additional Details from NASA:

Hubble Image: