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DesignationsM81 Group, M81-M82 Group, NGC 3031 Group
ConstellationsPrimarily Ursa Major, extending into Camelopardalis
Right AscensionCentred around 9h 55m 0s
DeclinationCentred around +69° 6' 0"
Distancec.11,700,000 light years
c.3,600,000 parsecs
DimensionsApparent: c. 85° x 16°
Actual: c. 21,800,000 x 3,300,000 light years
MembersThirty-four galaxies, including M81 (Bode's Galaxy) and M82 (the Cigar Galaxy)
Optimum VisibilityMarch (Usually visible from northern latitudes)
NotesThis small galaxy group, centred around the spiral galaxy M81 and the irregular M82, is one of the closest such groups to the Milky Way's Local Group. The more massive galaxies within the group interact with one another, with threads and loops of material stretching between them.

The heart of the M81 Group. To the west (or right) of this image, the brighter galaxy is M81 itself (also known as Bode's Galaxy), and the slightly fainter galaxy to the north is M82 (the Cigar Galaxy). Southeastward from these two is the much fainter irregular NGC 3077, and in the far southeastern corner of the image, the ragged spiral of IC 2574, known as the Coddington Nebula, can be seen. These are just four of more than thirty galaxies that make up the M81 Group. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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