Bode's Nebula (M81)
Object Type: Galaxy
Exposure 120 minutes
Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major.
M81 is one of the most striking examples of a grand design spiral galaxy, with near perfect arms spiraling into the very center. Because of its proximity to Earth, its large size, and its active galactic nucleus (which harbors a 70 million solar mass supermassive black hole) .
Messier 81 is a popular galaxy to study in professional astronomy research. The galaxy's large size and relatively low apparent magnitude (lower magnitude implies higher brightness) also make it a popular target for amateur astronomy observations