M81 was dicovered by a Mr Bode in 1774, hence the galaxy’s name. It is the largest galaxy of the M81 group.
Click on the image below for larger images & more details …
The galaxy is a classic spiral whose nature has been enhanced by the nearby presence of M82. The M81 group is some 12 million light years distant from Earth.
The detailed images of M81 & M82 were taken during a full moon, with intermittent high level cloud. These are far from ideal conditions for imaging deep sky objects and I increased the exposure times to assist with image detail capture. The total exposure time for the above image was just over 1hr 10mins.