Monday, 23 November 2009

A just 2 minutes

Here’s a picture of M81, a galaxy similar in size to our own Milky Way, 12 million light years away in Ursa Major. It is also known as Bode’s Nebula as it was discovered before the idea of galaxies outside of our own. I got this wonderful final image with just four 30 second exposures at ISO1600 & f/3. It’s processed in a non-linear way with boosted contrast between the faint spiral arms and sky background, and also to show some detail in the dust lanes around the centre. In fact I have blackened the sky which was its usual muddy brown colour. Visually, through a telescope, it appears to me as a bright central nucleus surrounded by a hazy ellipse. The spiral arms are too faint to see so the full size is not visible. Very near by in the sky is M82, a galaxy showing lots of structure but I always find tracking down M81 a bit tricky.

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