Cigar Galaxy (M82)

What’s lighting up the Cigar Galaxy? M82, as this irregular galaxy is also known, was stirred up by a recent pass near large spiral galaxy M81. This doesn’t fully explain the source of the red-glowing outwardly expanding gas, however. Evidence indicates that this gas, ionized hydrogen, is being driven out by the combined emerging particle winds of many stars, together creating a galactic superwind. The filaments extend for over 10,000 light years. The 12-million light-year distant Cigar Galaxy is the brightest galaxy in the sky in infrared light, and can be seen in visible light with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major).

Took this image over 18 hours. Used 15 images of Luminances of 30 minutes each. Color RGB data of 6 images each of 20 minutes. I also added 9 images of Hydrogen Alpha filter of 30 minutes each to capture more of the superwind.


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