Photo of the Week for March 16, 2018
Spring is just around the corner and, as every deep-sky observer knows, that means galaxy season is also coming. As the bright stars of winter slip into the west, the dimmer constellations of spring take their place at the meridian. Among them are swarms of galaxies.
Two of the finest spring galaxies are the Ursa Major duo of M81 and M82. One is a large, elegant spiral (M81) and the other a smaller, “irregular” galaxy (M82) misshapen by tidal forces from its neighbour. Both objects are moderately easy targets for small telescopes used under dark skies—their contrasting shapes are evident even in backyard scopes. The celestial odd couple is presented nicely in this monochromatic photo by Ontario astrophotographer Doug Nan Jiang.
Nan’s deep and detailed portrait of the Ursa Major pair consists of a total of 10 hours of Luminance data captured with a QHYCCD 814 A camera and Offcina Stellare Veloce RH 200 8-inch f/3 astrograph.