How to Find the Cigar Galaxy, Messier 82

How to Find the Cigar Galaxy, Messier 82

Cigar Galaxy

Messier 82, the cigar galaxy is an irregular shaped galaxy found 12 million light years away. It was discovered by Johann Elert Bode on the same night as M81. This cigar shaped galaxy is a starburst galaxy due to its interaction with M81. Starburst galaxies produce stars at a much higher rate than the Milky Way. This is usually caused by an interaction with a nearby galaxy. M82 also contains an unknown object with a radio signal that is unexplainable and has not been seen anywhere else in the universe.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Other Names:

Messier 82


NGC 3034

Telescope Image to Scale:

Messier 82 from a telescope

This image is 30 arc minutes by 30 arcminutes which is about the size of the full moon.


Magnitude = 9.1

Surface Brightness = 12.5

Telescope Aperture City Suburbs Rural Dark Sky
4 inches 9 10 11 12.5
5 inches 9.5 10.5 11.5 13
6 inches 10 11 12 13.5
8 inches 10.5 11.5 12.5 14
10 inches 11 12 13 14.5

Use this chart to estimate if you can see the object from your location with your telescope. For more help on using this chart click here.

How to See It:

The Cigar Galaxy is a bright and easily seen galaxy that is simple to locate in the sky. If you have a low power eyepiece you can see M81 at the same time in the same field of view. Both of these galaxies are found at the Ursa Major constellationIt's co-ordinates are: RA 09h 57m 01.71 DEC +69° 36′ 55.5″ if you are using guiding software.

How to find messier 82, the Cigar galaxy

To find more space objects have a look at the constellation guide by clicking the link or go back to the list of deep space objects.

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