3.6 micron image of the Spiral Galaxy Messier 81
Ssc2003 06d5

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/K. Gordon (University of Arizona) & S. Willner (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

Observation • December 18th, 2006 • ssc2003-06d5

ssc2003-06d5

The nearby spiral galaxy, Messier 81 (M81) is shown in this image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Located in the northern constellation of Ursa Major (which also includes the Big Dipper), this galaxy is easily visible through binoculars or a small telescope. M81 is located at a distance of 12 million light-years. This 3.6-micron near-infrared image traces the distribution of stars, although the Spitzer image is virtually unaffected by obscuring dust and reveals a very smooth stellar mass distribution, with the spiral arms relatively subdued.

About the Object

Name
Bode's GalaxyMessier 81M81NGC 3031UGC 5318
Type
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Distance
12,000,000 Light Years
Redshift
-0.000113

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 3.6 ┬Ám Spitzer IRAC

Astrometrics

Position (J2000)
RA =9h 55m 34.0s
Dec = 69° 3' 54.9"
Field of View
23.5 x 17.9 arcminutes
Orientation
North is 268.7° left of vertical