Messier 81

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Messier 81 or Bode's Galaxy

Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. Due to its proximity to Earth, large size and active galactic nucleus (which harbors a 70 millionM☉( supermassive black hole), Messier 81 has been studied extensively by professional astronomers. The galaxy's large size and relatively high brightness also make it a popular target for amateur astronomers.

Messier 81 is the largest galaxy in the M81 Group, a group of 34 galaxies located in the constellation Ursa Major. At approximately 11.7 Mly (3.6 Mpc) from the Earth, it makes this group and the Local Group, containing the Milky Way, relative neighbors in the Virgo Supercluster. Gravitational interactions of M81 with M82 and NGC 3077 have stripped hydrogen gas away from all three galaxies, forming gaseous filamentary structures in the group. Moreover, these interactions have allowed interstellar gas to fall into the centers of M82 and NGC 3077, leading to vigorous star formation or starburst activity there.

HGS Session References

HGS Sessions - Clearing Scorpius Constellation- 3/21/2015 [1]HGS Sessions - Clearing Dorado, Leo Minor, Musca, Perseus constellations - 3/23/2015 [2]


  1. HGS Session
  2. HGS Session

Found in HGS Manual on Page 108 Found in HGS Manual on Page 115