M81 - Bode's Galaxy
M81 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major that is approximately 12 million light years distant. This relatively close galaxy contains a supermassive black hole that has the mass of 70 million suns. More information about Bode's Galaxy can be found at Wikipedia - Messier 81.
The patch of light to the right of the top half of the galaxy is itself a dwarf irregular galaxy known as Holmberg IX. Holmberg IX is a satellite galaxy of M81. It is believed to be a relatively young galaxy.
This image is a 64-minute exposure obtained on 3 June 2011 with a Starlight Xpress SXV-H9 CCD camera through a 4.3" f/7 William Optics refractor.
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