M 81 Spiral Galaxy M81 (NGC 3031), type Sb, in Ursa Major. Bode's Galaxy

RA 09 : 55.6 (h:m); DEC +69 : 04 (deg:m); 12 million light years;
Visual Brightness 6.9 (mag) ; Apparent Dimension 21x10 (arc min)

M81 is one of the easiest and most rewarding galaxies to observe for the amateur astronomer on the northern hemisphere, because with its total visual brightness of about 6.8 magnitudes it can be found with small instruments.
Brian Skiff of Lowell Observatory reports that he could see M81 with the unaided naked eye under exceptionally good viewing conditions (i.e., clear dark skies), and is at least the fourth observer who reported to have done so !

The pronounced grand-design spiral galaxy M81 forms a most conspicuous physical pair with its neighbor, M82,

Source and more: SEDS


January 29, 2009 21:35 - 23:41 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO F/6.8 [focal length 545 mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: Lum 6x600s [1x1]; RGB 5x180s [2x2]; all unguided.

February 6, 2008 22:31 - 23:09 UT.
In order to get M81 and M82 both in the FOV of my setup I rotated the camera 90 degrees; during the processing I rotated back, so North is up in this image.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO with Meade 3.3 Focal Reducer at f/3 [focal length 240 mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: L 14x120s [1x1]; RGB 5x30s [2x2], unguided.

February 4, 2008 21:35 - 22:26 UT.
Imaging: William Optics Zenithstar 80 ED II APO F/6.8 [focal length 545 mm], ATK16IC camera, Astronomik LRGB filters.
Exposures: Lum 6x300s [1x1]; RGB 5x100s [2x2]; all unguided.

January 25, 2007 22:01 - 22:30 UT.
I had rotated the camera a bit so that the whole galaxy is visible; therefore North is not exactly up in this image.
Imaged with LX200 10-inch f/10 telescope with 0.33 Focal Reducer operating at f/4.06 [focal length 1015mm],
Vesta Pro-SC3a b/w RAW camera, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter.
51 unguided exposures of 35 seconds.

January 22, 2007 22:17 - 23:07 UT.
Imaged with LX200 10-inch f/10 telescope with 0.33 Focal Reducer operating at f/4.06 [focal length 1015mm],
Vesta Pro-SC3a b/w RAW camera, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter.
50 unguided exposures of 45 seconds.

April 14, 2006 20:45 - 21:24 UT.
Imaged with LX200 10-inch f/10 telescope with 0.33 Focal Reducer operating at f/4.06 [focal length 1015mm],
Vesta Pro-SC3a b/w RAW camera, Baader Infra Red Blocking Filter.
65 autoguided exposures of 35 seconds.
Reprocessed on September 22, 2006.