M82--The Cigar Galaxy

Saturday evening (4/9) was as good a night for imaging as we've had here in a while, despite the cold (33 degrees F). With not even a slight breeze to disturb it, the ZEQ 25 tracked almost flawlessly. I took this image with the VRC-6 (plus .5x focal reducer and skyglow filter) scope and the DS 2.3+, which gives a very decent wide field view with an F/ratio of 4.5.

This full-frame image is a stack of 30 images, stacked and tweaked in Nebulosity, with final finishing in Photoshop. The focus was a little off on the scope, but the image is reasonably good--I need to buy a Bahtinov Mask for this scope (the mask I have for the 8 inch Newt is too big).

M82 is a bright, starburst galaxy, with the starburst being triggered by the nearby M81 (Bode's Galaxy). The core of M82 is around 100 times brighter than that of our own Milky Way and this image brings out striking color in the galaxy's core.