The dynamic starburst galaxy, Messier 82, is captured beautifully in this night sky photo.
Astrophotographers Bob and Janice Fera took this image of M82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy, on Feb. 11 to Feb. 15, from Eagle Ridge Observatory in Foresthill, Calif. The Feras used an Officina Stellare RC-360AST 14" f/8 Ritchey Chretien Cassegrain telescope with two-element field flattener to observe nebula. An Apogee Alta U16M CCD camera with Astrodon filters was used to capture the photo.
Messier 82 is about 12 million light-years away in Ursa Major. It is a starburst galaxy meaning it has a very high rate of new star formation. The galaxy is five times brighter than our entire Milky Way and produces stars 10 times faster. This makes the galaxy a fascinating region in space.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.