Amateur Astronomy Club

Messier 82 – Cigar Galaxy – 11″ x 14″ – Aluminum

Photographer: Chris Martel

This is an 11 x 14″ picture on aluminum with a float mount (shown in picture) for easy wall hanging.

The Cigar Galaxy (also known as M82) is a starburst galaxy approximately 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. A member of the M81 Group, it is about five times more luminous than the whole Milky Way and has a center one hundred times more luminous than our galaxy’s center. The starburst activity is thought to have been triggered by interaction with neighboring galaxy M81. In 2005, the Hubble Space Telescope revealed 197 young massive clusters in the starburst core. The average mass of these clusters is around 200,000 solar masses, hence the starburst core is a very energetic and high-density environment. Throughout the galaxy’s center, young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside the entire Milky Way Galaxy.