Enchanted Skies


M81 - Bode's Galaxy (imaged from Las Cruces)

M27 - The Dumbbell Nebula Region around M81


Object Information                                            Imaging Details

Messier object 81 (Bodes 'Nebula') is a beautiful spiral galaxy discovered in 1774 by Johann Bode. The galaxy is 12 million light-years from Earth making it one of the closest galaxies outside the local group of M33 and M31.

At magnitude 6.9, the galaxy is an easy target for small telescopes and binoculars. M81 (and M82) are easily found by drawing a line from Phecda through Dubhe in Ursa Major. Phecda is about 10 degrees from Dubhe. Go another 10 degrees (past Dubhe) and you'll find the galactic pair of M81/M82.

This image was captured from my back yard in Las Cruces.


Celestron NexStar GPS 11"

Canon 300D (type 1 modified)
IDAS LPS (light pollution)
Misc. Optics:

f/6.3 reducer/corrector

22 x 2.5 minutes @ ISO 800
Scope mounted on ATP wedge. Off-axis guiding with GuideDog using ToUCam.
Images aligned and stacked in Photoshop CS. Curves/levels adjustments ith Photoshop CS. Noise reduction with Noise Ninja.

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Enchanted Skies - Astrophotography by Rich Richins (all images copyright, Rich Richins)