NGC 3034 - M82 - Arp 337

Object: NGC 3034 the Cigar galaxy in Ursa Major, is a nearby starburst galaxy at a distance of 3.9 Mpc (~12.5 Mly). The field of view is ~20'x14' with north at 45 deg towards the upper left corner

Subimages Clear: 74 x 120 sec (2.5 hrs)
Subimages RGB: 8 x 600 sec (80 min each)
Subimages Ha: 12 x 1800 sec (6 hrs)
Scope: C14XLT with reducer/corrector, EFL=2170 mm (f/6.1 effective) and Pyxis 2" intrument rotator
Mount: Paramount MME
Dome: Skyshed POD with zenith table
Camera: SBIG ST8XME+CFW10+AO8 (0.85"/pixel) set to -30C
Guiding: LRGB AO self-guide at 5Hz, Halpha exptime = 4 sec, all dithered
Acquisition and Processing: MaxIm DL/CCD v4.5 and v5
Imaged in February and March 2009

Data from NED:
Brightness 9.3m, size 11.2' x 4.3', type I0 starburst

This rather small galaxy, only 40 kly in diameter, is undergoing a tumultuous explosion of hydrogen gas witnessed by the expanding red tendrils emanating from the core. The gas has been ejected from the nuclear regions by intense supernovae which are themselves the result of a ferocious formation rate of massive stars. The Hubble Space Telescope discovered that the nucleus of the galaxy is peppered with Super Star Clusters, the source of the "starburst" action.

The trigger for the starburst in M82 is believed to be due to one or more close encounters with its larger neighbor, M81. Evidence of tidal shearing from a collision is visible in the cropped and high contrast view below. The arc of unresolved stars extends over 30 kly.