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M82 “Cigar” Galaxy
 The M82 is also known as “The Cigar Galaxy”. It can be seen close to more famous spiral M81 “Bode” galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major. While the bigger and brighter M81 shows nice spiral structure, somewhat chaotic appearance of the smaller M82 caused the galaxy was considered to be irregular. Only recent observations in infra-red light revealed also M82 has spiral arms, only not that prominent, because we see the galaxy almost edge-on.

Despite its inconspicuous appearance, the M82 galaxy is very turbulent and active. Numerous star-birth regions were probably activated by gravitational disturbance of the bigger neighbor M81 during their close approach. Both galaxies are destined to merge in the future.

Also interesting is the super-massive black hole in the galaxy center. Material spiraling into black hole creates dense accretion disk, where the matter approaches relativistic speed. Huge amount of energy, released withing the accretion disk, can escape only through disk poles in the form of gaseous jets. Image presented here nicely shows them in deep-red color of the Hα emission line.

Martin Myslivec used C2-12000A camera on 30 cm Newtonian telescope to acquire unfiltered luminance frames as well as color frames through red, green and blue filters. Exposures through narrow-band Hα were used to show central black hole jets. Total exposure time exceeded 28 hours.

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