M82 - The Cigar Galaxy: Type, Age, Size, Diameter, Mass, Location, Facts, Distance from Earth

M82 - The Cigar Galaxy: Type, Age, Size, Diameter, Mass, Location, Facts, Distance from Earth

Cigar Galaxy M82 (NGC 3034)

The Cigar Galaxy, also known as M82 or NGC 3034, is a fascinating celestial object located in the constellation Ursa Major. It is a galaxy undergoing intense star formation, resulting in the distinctive cigar-like shape that gave it its nickname. In this blog post, we will explore the various aspects of the Cigar Galaxy, including its history, physical characteristics, and how to observe it.

What Type of Galaxy is M82 Cigar Galaxy

M82 Cigar Galaxy is classified as an irregular galaxy. It is known for its irregular shape and intense starburst activity.

How old is M82 Cigar Galaxy

Determining the exact age of M82 Cigar Galaxy is challenging, but it is estimated to be approximately around 5 to 10 million years. The age estimation involves studying the galaxy's stellar populations and the history of star formation, providing insights into its cosmic age.

M82 Cigar Galaxy Size in Light Years

The size of M82 Cigar Galaxy encompasses an expansive region of approximately about 37,000 light-years.

M82 Cigar Galaxy Diameter in Light Years and Compared to Milky Way

The diameter of M82 Cigar Galaxy is approximately about 5,000 to 6,000 light-years. Compared to the Milky Way, M82 is significantly smaller in diameter, as the Milky Way has a diameter of around 100,000 light-years.

M82 Cigar Galaxy Mass in Solar Masses

Estimates suggest that the mass of M82 Cigar Galaxy is approximately a few times 10 billion solar masses. Galaxy mass influences gravitational interactions and internal processes, and M82's mass places it within the range of irregular galaxies.

M82 Cigar Galaxy Location

M82 Cigar Galaxy is located in the constellation Ursa Major. Positioned in the northern celestial hemisphere, Ursa Major is home to various celestial objects, and M82 stands out as a notable member. Its location provides astronomers with an accessible target for observation and study.

10 Interesting Fun Facts about M82 Cigar Galaxy

  1. M82 is undergoing a powerful episode of star formation, resulting in its classification as a starburst galaxy.
  2. The galaxy's irregular shape is influenced by gravitational interactions with its neighbor, M81.
  3. Intense starburst activity has produced a stream of hot gas extending beyond the galaxy's disk.
  4. M82 is a strong source of radio emission, attributed to its active star formation regions.
  5. The Cigar Galaxy has a distinct appearance in optical and infrared images, revealing intricate details of its structure.
  6. It was first discovered by astronomer Johann Elert Bode in 1774.
  7. M82 is part of the M81 Group, a collection of galaxies including its larger neighbor, M81.
  8. The galaxy's irregularities are believed to be a result of gravitational interactions with M81 and previous encounters.
  9. Observations in multiple wavelengths, including X-rays, provide a comprehensive view of M82's energetic processes.
  10. M82 is a popular target for amateur astronomers, offering a glimpse into the dynamic processes shaping galaxies.

M82 Cigar Galaxy Distance from Earth in Light Years and Miles / Km

M82 Cigar Galaxy is situated at an approximate distance of about 12 million light-years from Earth. Converting this distance, it is approximately 7.04e+16 miles (1.13e+17 km) away. This distance places it beyond our immediate cosmic neighborhood, allowing astronomers to study its intense starburst activity and irregular features in detail.

History and Discovery

The Cigar Galaxy was first discovered by Johann Elert Bode in December 1774. However, it was not until 1801 that it was officially cataloged by Charles Messier and designated as M82. The galaxy's cigar-like shape was first identified by William Parsons, the third Earl of Rosse, in the mid-19th century. He used his massive 72-inch reflecting telescope, which was then the largest telescope in the world, to observe the galaxy in great detail.

Exploring the Cigar Galaxy: Facts, Features, and Images

Physical Characteristics

The Cigar Galaxy is a member of the M81 group of galaxies, which includes the larger and more massive spiral galaxy M81. It is located approximately 12 million light-years away from Earth and has a diameter of about 37,000 light-years. The galaxy is currently undergoing a burst of star formation, which is believed to have been triggered by a close encounter with its larger neighbor, M81, about 100 million years ago.

The Cigar Galaxy is classified as a starburst galaxy, which means that it is undergoing a rapid and intense period of star formation. This is evident from the numerous bright, blue regions visible throughout the galaxy, which are regions of active star formation. The galaxy also has a bright central region, which is powered by a supermassive black hole at its center.

Cigar Galaxy Details

Here is a detailed table about the Cigar Galaxy:

Property Description
Name Cigar Galaxy (also known as Messier 82 or M82)
Type Starburst galaxy
Distance 12 million light-years
Constellation Ursa Major
Apparent magnitude +8.4
Size 11 x 4 arcminutes
Mass Approximately 70 billion solar masses
Diameter Approximately 37,000 light-years
Characteristics The Cigar Galaxy is known for its intense starburst activity, which is believed to be the result of a recent interaction with its nearby companion galaxy, Messier 81. It also contains a prominent supermassive black hole at its center.
Discovery Johann Elert Bode discovered the galaxy in 1774, and it was later cataloged by Charles Messier in 1781.
Notable features The Cigar Galaxy emits large amounts of infrared radiation due to its intense star formation activity. It is also a strong source of radio waves and has been observed in X-rays and gamma rays.
Observational history The Cigar Galaxy has been extensively studied by astronomers using a variety of telescopes and instruments, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. It is a popular target for amateur astronomers due to its brightness and unique appearance.

Observing the Cigar Galaxy

The Cigar Galaxy is a popular target for amateur and professional astronomers alike due to its distinctive shape and active star formation. It is visible in small telescopes and can be easily located in the constellation Ursa Major. The best time to observe the galaxy is during the winter months in the northern hemisphere when it is high in the sky.

To observe the Cigar Galaxy, a telescope with a moderate aperture of at least 6 inches is recommended. The galaxy's cigar-like shape can be seen even in small telescopes, but a larger telescope will reveal more detail, such as the bright blue regions of active star formation. Observing the galaxy under dark skies with little light pollution will also enhance the viewing experience.

Images of the Cigar Galaxy

The Cigar Galaxy is a popular target for astrophotographers due to its distinctive shape and active star formation. Capturing the galaxy's bright blue regions of active star formation can be challenging, but it is possible with a high-quality telescope and camera setup. Many stunning images of the Cigar Galaxy can be found online, showcasing its beauty and unique features.

Cigar Galaxy

In conclusion, the Cigar Galaxy is a fascinating object to observe and study in the night sky. Its distinctive shape and active star formation make it a popular target for astronomers and astrophotographers alike. With the right equipment and observing conditions, the Cigar Galaxy can reveal its many secrets and provide a glimpse into the fascinating world of galactic evolution.

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