Photo of the Week for April 5, 2019
Spring is galaxy season and two of the finest examples of bright galaxies visible at this time of year are the well known Ursa Major pair, M81 and 82. Their placement near the Big Dipper makes them easy to observer on spring evenings. Both objects are readily visible in a 6-inch or larger telescope being used under dark skies. Of the two, the oddball is M82, pictured here. It’s a “starburst” galaxy—one that produces new stars at an usually high rate. M82’s vigorous activity likely results from tidal interactions with neighbouring M81.
This nicely detailed M82 portrait was captured last March by Tim Trentadue at the North Frontenac Dark Sky Preserve in southeastern Ontario. Tim acquired a total of 4.4 hours exposure data shot through a set of narrowband filters with a ZWO ASI1600 Pro monochromatic astrocamera fitted to a Telescope-Specialists ED127 refractor telescope (working at f/5.5 with a Tele Vue 0.8× reducer/flattener).