M81 and M82 by Stuart Heggie | Astrophoto of the Week | SkyNews

With sensible mud trails and unimaginable element, Stuart Heggie’s picture of Messier 81 and Messier 82 — and oodles of different objects —  Picture of the Week on April 30, 2021.

An image of galaxies Messier 81 and Messier 82 by Stuart Heggie | SkyNews
M81 and M82 by Stuart Heggie

In 1774, Johann Elert Bode found each of the galaxies, situated about 12 million light-years away from Earth. The small fuzzy galaxy prime left is NGC 3077, which was found by William Herschel on November 8, 1801.

“The pronounced grand-design spiral galaxy M81 types a most conspicuous bodily pair with its neighbour, M82, and is the brightest and doubtless dominant galaxy of a close-by group known as M81 group,” Heggie wrote.

“A number of tens of million years in the past, which is semi-recently on the cosmic time scale, a detailed encounter occurred between the galaxies M81 and M82. Throughout this occasion, bigger and extra huge M81 has dramatically deformed M82 by gravitational interplay. The encounter has additionally left traces within the spiral sample of the brighter and bigger galaxy M81, first making it total extra pronounced, and second within the type of the darkish linear function within the decrease left of the nuclear area. The galaxies are nonetheless shut collectively, their centres separated by a linear of solely about 150,000 gentle years.”

Utilizing a Moravian G4 and a AP155EDF (f/7.1), Heggie collected greater than 16 hours of imaging from Lucknow, Ontario to construct the picture.

Our runner up this week sticks to the galactic theme. Abdur Anwar receives our honourable point out for this attractive picture of Messier 51 and its companion galaxy.

Utilizing a ZWO ASI1600MM (gentle and Hydrogen-alpha frames), a Fuji XT2 mirrorless digital camera (color knowledge) and an eight-inch Orion reflector telescope (f/3.9) on a EQ6R mount, Anwar captured 9.four hours of knowledge from Edmonton, Alberta, on April 15, 2021.

“It was the primary galaxy I ever noticed by a telescope and ever since that point, I’ve been trying to picture it,” Anwar wrote. “All the pieces lined up for me just lately because the night time was completely clear, there was no wind, and the transparency was wonderful.”

Prizes for the 2020-21 SkyNews Picture of the Week contest are sponsored by Sky-Watcher, Celestron, iOptron and The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Click on right here for extra particulars on the prize packages that will probably be awarded to the very best photographs this 12 months. 

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