See It For Yourself:(Northern Hemisphere Constellation)
M81 and M82 are close together in the night sky and are a favorite target for amateur observational astronomers. The galaxies are rather bright, at 6.9 magnitudes, and M82 especially really looks like its nickname, the Cigar Galaxy.
The galaxies can be seen by aiming your telescope at a point on the sky found by roughly extending an imaginary line across the Big Dipper's bowl (about the same distance as the bowl diagonal). Remember, the R.A. and Dec of this object is: Right Ascension: 09h 55.6m Declination +69° 04' if you prefer to use setting circles.
[Photo courtesy of Michael Weiland of the Interessengemeinschaft Astronomie an der UniversitŠt Konstanz (Astronomy Interest Group at the University of Constance). This image was obtained with a 15-cm f/6 Newtonian at Michael's "Hütte" in the "Bregenzerwald", Austria. Exposed 30 minutes on Kodak TP 2415.]
Revised: March 24, 2008