The Virtual Amateur Astronomer®, Image of M81 and M82, Internet Astronomy by Jupiter Scientific
Press Releases |
A Pair of Galaxies
Starting with Phecda, the lower innermost star in the "cup of the ladle" of the Big Dipper (Ursa Major), and
continuing along a line through Dubhe, the brightest, uppermost, outer star in the "cup of the ladle", for about one-and-a-half times
the arc length between these two stars, one comes to a pair of galaxies M81 and M82:
M81 (to the left in the above image) is a spiral galaxy, while M82 (to the right) is irregularly shaped. The
two galaxies are about 12 million light-years away from us and are part of a nearby galaxy cluster that includes
about 20 members. Since it has taken 12 million years for the light from M81 and M82 to arrive to us,
the light was emitted from the galaxies when Earth was in the Miocene Epoch.
The above is brought to you by Jupiter Scientific,
an organization devoted to the promotion of
science through books, the internet
and other means of communication.
This web page may NOT be copied onto other web
sites, but other sites may link to this page.
Copyright ©2004 by Jupiter Scientific