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BAA Images Paul Downing, FRAS

Observation by Martina McGovern: Messier 81 in Ursa Major

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Paul Downing, FRAS


Martina McGovern


2020 Nov 23 - 23:00


2020 Dec 12 - 10:36



Planetarium overlay


Ursa Major

Field centre

RA: 09h55m
Dec: +69°04'
Position angle: +78°15'

Field size

0°30' × 0°20'

  • Celestron Edge HD 8” SCT, SkyWatcher HEQ5 PRO
  • ZWO ASI294MC Pro, main camera
  • ZWO ASIAir Pro, ZWO EAF (Electronic Automatic Focuser) & Dual-Speed 2-inch Crayford Focuser for SCT’s
  • ZWO 60mm Guide scope, ZWO ASI120MM mini, Guide camera
  • Optolong L-Pro Broadband filter, Optolong L-eXtreme dual band filter (Ha & OIII)

Approx 5hrs of L-pro data & 40mins L-eXtreme data; 180s & Darks, Flats & Dark flats. Camera settings were Gain 225, cooled to T -15C


Near Cambridge, UK

Target name

Messier 81


Messier 81 in Ursa Major

About this image

Martina comments that she hasn’t had a clear night in so so long – until 22nd November, so she stayed up right through until 6am the next day.  She has wanted to try to capture this galaxy image for a while now, and success at last.


From Wikipedia: M81 Bodes Galaxy is a grand design spiral galaxy about 12 Million light years away, with a diameter of 90,000 light years, in the constellation Ursa Major. Due to its proximity to Earth, large size, and active galactic nucleus (which harbours a supermassive black hole), Messier 81 has been studied extensively by professional astronomers.

Files associated with this observation
Like this image
Test User, 2020 Dec 13 - 00:41 UTC

Lovely image!

Callum Potter
Callum Potter, 2020 Dec 13 - 12:46 UTC

That's a very nice image of M81 - captures the subtlety of the structure in the spiral arms nicely.

Martin Lewis
Martin Lewis, 2020 Dec 13 - 23:37 UTC

Well-deserved POTW Martina