Astronomy Picture of the Day
    


Messier 81
<< Yesterday 17.04.2019 Tomorrow >>
Messier 81
Credit & Copyright: Paolo De Salvatore (Zenit Observatory)
Explanation: One of the brightest galaxies in planet Earth's sky is similar in size to our Milky Way Galaxy: big, beautiful Messier 81. Also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's galaxy for its 18th century discoverer, this grand spiral can be found toward the northern constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. The detailed telescopic view reveals M81's bright yellow nucleus, blue spiral arms, pink starforming regions, and sweeping cosmic dust lanes. Some dust lanes actually run through the galactic disk (left of center), contrary to other prominent spiral features though. The errant dust lanes may be the lingering result of a close encounter between M81 and its smaller companion galaxy, M82. Scrutiny of variable stars in M81 has yielded one of the best determined distances for an external galaxy -- 11.8 million light-years.

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
 < April 2019  >
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930




Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: spiral galaxy - M 81
Publications with words: spiral galaxy - M 81
See also:
All publications on this topic >>