Messier 82 - NGC 3034

No dss image available for Messier 82
Aladin viewer for the region around Messier 82
Cigar Galaxy, Ursa Major A
Bode 18, H IV 79, GC 1950, 3C 231, Arp 337, UGC 5322, PGC 28655, SDSS J095551.73+694048.6

Type  Galaxy
Magnitude  8.4
Size  11.2' x 10.5' @ 65°
Right Ascension  9h 55' 52.8"  (2000)
Declination  69° 40' 46" N
Constellation  Ursa Major
Description  vB, vL, vmE(ray)
Classification  Sd
Observing Notes

Andrew Cooper
Jan 20, 2023    Puʻuwaʻawaʻa, HI (map)
11.4cm f/4 Newtonian, Kinipōpō @ 18x
Seeing: 7 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Bright and obvious but notably fainter than the nearby M81, 10'x 5' elongated northeast to southwest, a modest nucleus surrounded by a ghostly halo, M81 visible ½° south, the view nicely matches the 1774 description of Johann Bode using the little RFT

Andrew Cooper
Dec 29, 2019    Kaʻohe, Mauna Kea, HI (map)
46cm f/4.5 Newtonian, Deep Violet @ 175x
Seeing: 6 Transparency: 7 Moon: 0%

Large, bright, elongated 10' x' 3' east-west, a bright entral region with dark mottling, no obvious core

Andrew Cooper
Oct 22, 2006    TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
12x36 Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars

Much dimmer than M81, small, nondescript hazy patch 40' north of M81

Andrew Cooper
Apr 29, 2006    TIMPA, Avra Valley, AZ (map)
46cm f/4.5 Deep Violet

Very large! Very bright! a mottled cigar shaped galaxy elongated 6:1 E-W. A lot of detail in the halo with large brighter regions, no obvious core or nucleus.

Andrew Cooper
Jun 12, 1999    Pinal Peak, AZ (map)
20cm f/10 SCT

Extended east-west, brighter to center, reasonably bright, no other structure

Rev. T.W. Webb
May 19, 1885    Hardwick, Herefordshire, England (map)

Two neb. ½° apart[M81 and M82]; 81 bright, with vivid nucleus, finely grouped with small stars, two of which are projected upon the haze, to which h. gives nearly 15' of length. Two little pairs sp, making the field very interesting. The nearer is Σ1387: 9.5, 9.5: 269°.6: 8".9; the further is Σ1386: 8.2: 8.2: 296°: 2". 82 (Bode's neb.), curious narrow curved ray. D'A., 7' x100", two nuclei, and sparkling as if resolvable, which 81 is not. Huggins finds both spectra continuous, but deficient at the red end, like the Androm. neb., etc. L.P., spiral; spect. one absorption and two bright lines.
― Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes, T. W. Webb, 1917

William Herschel
Sep 30, 1802    Observatory House, Slough (map)

A very bright, beautiful ray of light, about 8' long, 2' broad; brightest in the middle of all its lengths. Follows 27 Ursae 14m 12s, and is 2° 27' south of that star.

Charles Messier
Jan 6, 1780    

Nebula without star, near the preceding [M81]; both are appearing in the same field of the telescope, this one is less distinct than the preceding; its light faint & elongated: at its extremity is a telescopic star. Seen at Berlin, by M. Bode, on December 31, 1774, & by M. Méchain in the month August 1779.
― Connaissance des Temps, 1781

Johann Elert Bode
Dec 31, 1774    Berlin Observatory, Germany (map)

On December 31, 1774, I found through the seven-foot telescope, closely above the head of UMa, east near the star d at its ear, two small nebulous patches separated by about 0.75 degrees, the positions of which relative to the neighbored small stars are shown in the tenth figure. The patch Alpha (M81) appears mostly round and has a dense nucleus in the middle. The other, Beta, on the other hand, is very pale and of elongated shape. I could determine the separation of Alpha to d as 2°7', to Rho as 5°2' and to 2 Sigma as 4°32' with some acuracy; Beta was too faint and disappeared from my eyes as soon as I shifted apart the halves of the objective glass.
Other Data Sources for Messier 82
Nearby objects for Messier 82
2 objects found within 120'
Messier 81 NGC 3077

Drawings, descriptions, and CCD photos are copyright Andrew Cooper unless otherwise noted, no usage without permission.

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Messier 82