I haven’t had much time for astrophotography lately, especially with all of the fireballs falling, but I did finally get around to processing and finalizing this picture of Messier 82, A Galaxy in Peril. I slowly acquired data for this image over the month of February and for various quality reasons had to disgard about 2/3s of it. The processed image below is the result of 9 total hours worth of exposure time gathered over a two week period.
While it looks like this galaxy is exploding or being torn apart, astronomers believe the red filaments extendending outward from its core are ionized gases being blown out of the galaxy by solar winds and super nova explosions.
M82 is close enough to M81, that I was able to join the images into a nice mosaic of both galaxies.
LRGB 1400x1200x1200x1200 Minutes Each
Total exposure: 9 hours
Camera: Apogee U16M
Guider: SBIG 402 with MMOAG Off Axis Guider
Telescope: RCOS 14.5
Mount: Paramount ME
Location: Auberry, CA
Date: Feb 2013
Software: The SkyX, MaximDL, FocusMax, CCDAutoPilot, CCDStack, Photoshop