Pictures of Bode’s Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy

Images of M81 and M82, the pair of interacting galaxies known as Bode's Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy, including facts and the history of their discovery.

Bode’s Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy are M81 and M82, respectively, in the Messier Catalogue. They are a pair of galaxies that can be found in the constellation of Ursa Major.

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Bodes’ Galaxy

Bode's Galaxy by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian on an EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.

Bode’s Galaxy is one of the brightest galaxies in the night sky and is located about 11.5 million lightyears from Earth. It can even be seen through a pair of binoculars, appearing as a fuzzy patch along side its companion, the Cigar Galaxy.

It’s named after Johann Elert Bode, who discovered the galaxy in 1774, and is a very popular target for those who like to engage in a spot of deep-sky astronomy and astrophotography because young, hot, blue stars can be seen peppered within its spiral arms.

In Bode’s Galaxy’s central bulge much older, redder stars reside, while at the galaxy’s core lies a supermassive black hole about 70 million times the mass of our own Sun.

Cigar Galaxy

Cigar Galaxy by Pat Rodgers, Huddersfield, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Pat Rodgers, Huddersfield, UK. Equipment: SW200p, Atik 314L+, AZ EQ6-GT, SW ST80, ZWO ASI130mm, Baader ccd LRGB filters, Baader 7.5nm Ha filter.

The Cigar Galaxy, or M82, is known for its elongated shape as seen from Earth and high levels of star formation. As a result, it’s known as a ‘starbust’ galaxy, and this burst of star birth is a result of gravitational interactions with Bode’s Galaxy.

In fact, according to NASA, stars are being born around the galaxy’s centre about 10 times as quickly as they are throughout the entirety of our home galaxy the Milky Way.

Like Bode’s Galaxy, the Cigar Galaxy was also discovered by Johann Elert Bode, and is found 12 million lightyears from Earth, also in Ursa Major.

Both galaxies are best seen in springtime. See if you can do a spot of binocular astronomy and catch them both in the same field of view!

Below is a selection of images of Bode’s Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers from around the world.

Find out more about astrophotography with our astrophotography guides, or find out which are the best cameras for astrophotography.

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And if you’d like to submit your pics, find out how to send us your astrophotos or share them with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Images of Bode’s Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy

Bode's Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy
Bode’s Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy by Fabian Neyer, Switzerland. Equipment: Borg ED101 at f8.8, STL11000M, Baader LRGB filters
Bode's Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy by Andy Laing, Northamptonshire
Bode’s Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy by Andy Laing, Northamptonshire. Equipment: Skywatcher 200p on a HEQ5 mount, Canon 1000d, Skywatcher LP filter, 18 two minute unguided exposures at ISO800.
Bodes Nebula M81 & M82
Bode’s Galaxy by James McConnachie, East Ayrshire, Scotland.
Bode’s Galaxy by James McConnachie, East Ayrshire, Scotland. Equipment: Skywatcher MN190 DS Pro Scope, Synguider ST80 Guidescope, EOS 400D Baader modded cam, CGEM mount.
Bode's Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: GSO 8″ Richey-Chretien Optical tube, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
Bode's Galaxy by Roger Brooker, Kent, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Roger Brooker, Kent, UK. Equipment: 8″ f4 Newt, EQ6 pro, via EQmod, SXVH9 camera, Baader LRGB filters, QHY5 & Ts9mm OAG.
Bode's Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Espirt 100ED, Ioptron CCEM60, QSI 690 CCD.
Bode's Galaxy by Stephen Dean, Isle of Wight, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Stephen Dean, Isle of Wight, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 80 mm ED Pro, NEQ6 Mount, SBIG 2000 XM camera with LRGB filters.
Bode's Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy by John Short, Whitburn, Tyne and Wear, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy by John Short, Whitburn, Tyne and Wear, UK. Equipment: Sony A7s + Altair 80mm triplet.
Bode's Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
Bode's Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Takahashi 130 with reducer telescope, Ioptron CEM60 mount, QSI 690 CCD.
Bode's Galaxy by Jean M Dean, Guernsey.
Bode’s Galaxy by Jean M Dean, Guernsey. Equipment: Celestron C8-A XLT with Celestron 0.63 reducer and Canon 60A on an iOptron CEM25EC mount, Unguided.
Bode's Galaxy by Bradley Swift, Rochdale, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by Bradley Swift, Rochdale, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 150p Newtonian Reflector, HEQ5 PRO Mount Unguided, Canon 1100D unmodded, using intervalometer, no filters were used.
Bode's Galaxy by John Tonks, Pembrokeshire, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy by John Tonks, Pembrokeshire, UK. Equipment: 180mm Maksutov, ZWO 1600MM camera, 20 x 120sec per channel LRGB image.
Bode's Galaxy by Vandewattyne Frederid, Belgium.
Bode’s Galaxy by Vandewattyne Frederid, Belgium. Equipment: ASI 1600MM PRO, 405 x 60 sec, Newton 200 F5, Avalon Linear & autoguiding.
Bode's Galaxy by Jeffrey O. Johnson, Las Cruces, NM USA.
Bode’s Galaxy by Jeffrey O. Johnson, Las Cruces, NM USA. Equipment: Tak TOA-130F, Tak EM200, QSI690wsg, 18x10min L, 2x5min R, 3x5min ea GB (bin2x2); 10xdarks/flats/fdarks/bias.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Andy Jensen, Suffolk, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Andy Jensen, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: NEQ 5 SkyWatcher 120ED Refractor, Atik 383L.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Dave Trewren, Bristol, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Dave Trewren, Bristol, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 120ED f/7 Scope, HEQ5 Mount, QHY9M camera + filter wheel, Skywatcher 80ST guidescope, StarShoot autoguider, SharpSky focusing.
Bode's Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy by Andy Jensen
Bode’s Galaxy and Cigar Galaxy by Andy Jensen, Battisford, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Canon EOS 600D DSLR camera, Sky-Watcher 120 ED refractor, Sky-Watcher NEQ6 mount.
m81 and m82 very pleased how this one came out it was so cold i did not frame it proply which gave me another galaxy in the corner
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount & Equinox 80mm refractor, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik Ha LRGB filter set.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian on an EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Andreã van der Hoeven/Michael van Doorn, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht/Almere, The Netherlands.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Andreã van der Hoeven/Michael van Doorn, Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht/Almere, The Netherlands. Equipment: TEC140/QSI583ws and C11 Hyperstar/SXVR-H18
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by David Saunders, Faringdon, Oxon, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by David Saunders, Faringdon, Oxon, UK. Equipment: Canon 450D on a ST80 guided with a DSI1 on a Meade LX90.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P on an EQ5 Pro Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P on an EQ5 Pro Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez, Corral de Almaguer, Toledo, Spain.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Álvaro Ibáñez Pérez, Corral de Almaguer, Toledo, Spain. Equipment: TS 115 Triplet APO Refractor, NEQ6 Pro II and Atik460ex Mono with Baader LRGB filters.
Bode's Galaxy and The Cigar Galaxy by Paul Hutchinson, Torquay, UK.
Bode’s Galaxy and The Cigar Galaxy by Paul Hutchinson, Torquay, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Explorer 200p, HEQ5 Mount, Canon 1100D, SkyWatcher 50mm/162mm Finderscope, QHYCCD qhy-5 II.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Martin Bradley, Chesterfield, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Martin Bradley, Chesterfield, UK. Equipment: Tak FSQ 106 with 0.73 reducer, QSI 532 wsg.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by David Pickles, Northamptonshire, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by David Pickles, Northamptonshire, UK. Equipment: Altair Wave 115ED, QHY8L CCD camera, 0.79x focal reducer.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Stacey Downton, Birmingham, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Stacey Downton, Birmingham, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 80ED DS pro, EQ5 pro and a Canon 200D (unmodified but with CLS filter).
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Simon Todd, Haywards Heath, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Simon Todd, Haywards Heath, UK. Equipment: Qhyccd 183M Back Illuminated ColdMOS Camera at -20C, Sky-Watcher 8″ Quattro F4, Sky-Watcher EQ8 Pro, Qhyccd QHY5L-II, Sky-Watcher 90×50 Finder, Starlight Xpress Ltd 7x36mm EFW, Baader Planetarium LRGB + 7nm Ha.
Bode's and Cigar Galaxies by Tom Howard, Isle of Wight, UK.
Bode’s and Cigar Galaxies by Tom Howard, Isle of Wight, UK. Equipment: Nikon D7000 DSLR, TS-Optics 65mm Quadruplet, Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mount.
Cigar Galaxy by Andy O'Connor, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Andy O’Connor, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, UK. Equipment: Sky-Watcher 200P, SPC900NC webcam, Sky-Watcher NEQ6 mount.
Cigar Galaxy by Tom Richardson, West Midlands, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Tom Richardson, West Midlands, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher ED80 DS PRO refractor, Atik 314E mono ccd. Guiding with ST80, Meade DSI ccd, Hitecastro guider interface with PHD guiding software.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik Ha LRGB filter set.
Cigar Galaxy by Jeff Burgess, Musselburgh, Scotland, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Jeff Burgess, Musselburgh, Scotland, UK. Equipment: William Optics 110FLT triplet refractor, QHY8 OSC CCD camera, EQ6 pro.
Cigar Galaxy by Alan Fennah, Wirral, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Alan Fennah, Wirral, UK. Equipment: Canon 1100D Afocal, 200mm f/6 Orion Optics Newtonian.
Cigar Galaxy by Graham Edridge, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Graham Edridge, Stamford, Lincolnshire, UK. Equipment: Meade LX200 10″, F6.3 FR, Atik 383L+ mono binned 4×4 to get a quick set of 1 sec exposures.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik LRGB filters.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik LRGB filters.
Cigar Galaxy by Colin D. Anderson (LRPS), Langley, Berkshire.
Cigar Galaxy by Colin D. Anderson (LRPS), Langley, Berkshire. Equipment: 8 inch SkyWatcher reflector. Sony Alpha 700 at prime focus (cropped Image).
Cigar Galaxy by Paul Scott, Cheshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Paul Scott, Cheshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher HEQ5, Skywatcher 80ED ds pro, Canon 600D, EQMOD Stellarium.
Cigar Galaxy by Andrew Merrick, Newgale, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Andrew Merrick, Newgale, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, UK. Equipment: Modified Canon 600d, Williams Optics Megrez 120 refractor, Eq6 guided by a Starshoot and PHD. 14 x 5min subs stacked with Deep sky Stacker.
Cigar Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250TT, ioptron CEM60 mount, QSI 690 CCD, L: 3 x 5 min, RGB 3 x 10 min.
Cigar Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Altair Astro RC 250TT, Ioptron CEM60 mount, QSI 690 CCD. L: 5 x 5 min, RGB 3 x 10 min, Ha 3 x 30 min.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11 Sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
Cigar Galaxy by Simon Halstead, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Simon Halstead, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 8″, EQ5 mount, Nikon D3100, Pentax 100D.
Cigar Galaxy by Simon Halstead, Earby, Lancashire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Simon Halstead, Earby, Lancashire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 200p on a EQ5 mount with upgrade goto kit and Nikon D3100 DSLR camera.
Cigar Galaxy by Craig Howman, Weaverham, Cheshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Craig Howman, Weaverham, Cheshire, UK. Equipment: Canon 1100D (astro-modded + light pollution clip and coma corrector), Skywatcher 300PDS, NEQ6, Guided with a 9×50 finder guider and ZWO ASI120MM.
Cigar Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by Jaspal Chadha, London, UK. Equipment: Tak 130 (with reducer), Ioptron CEM60 mount, QSI 690 CCD. L 20 x 600s, R 9 x 600s, G 9 x 600s, B 9 x 600s, Ha 4 x 600s.
Cigar Galaxy by John Tonks, Pembrokeshire, UK.
Cigar Galaxy by John Tonks, Pembrokeshire, UK. Equipment: 180mm Maksutov, ZWO 1600mm camera, 25 x 60sec per channel LRGB.