"Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in a perfect light I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night."


M 81 NGC 3031 Bode's Galaxy
Right Ascension 09h 55m 32.2 - Declination +69° 3′ 55″

                                                                                         Imaging Telescope or Lens: Taken with an Astro-Tech 12 " Ritchey - Chrétien Reflector Astrograph
                                                                                          Focal reducer: AP 27TVPH .75 reducer Camera SBIG STF 8300 CCD Mono, Filter Baader Ha 7nm

M 81 (Also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12million light years away in the constellation Ursa Major. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 6.9 and its angular diameter is 21X10 arc-minutes, Messier M81 was discovered by Johann Elert Bode on December 31, 1774, Consequently, the galaxy is sometimes referred to as Bode's Galaxy. It contains an active galactic nucleus powered by a supermassive black hole at its center and was host to one of the brightest supernovae of the 20th century, SN 1993J. Also in this image, the blue blob above M81 is a satellite galaxy gravitationally locked to M81 called Holmberg IX, which is thought to have formed within the last 200 million years, making it the youngest nearby galaxy. And bear in mind that one light-year is 6,000,000,000,000, miles.
 

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