M82 is an irregular shaped galaxy found in the Ursa Major constellation. It is a bright galaxy and when viewed from Earth it is quite close to its more famous neighbor Bodes Galaxy (M81). This galaxy is also referred to as the Cigar Galaxy due to its shape.
This is my first image guided by the new LodeStar X2 autoguider camera. An 80mm Vixen A80Mf served as a guidescope. I am very happy with the new Lodestar guide camera. It seems to have solved a number of guiding issues I was experiencing with the old guide camera. In particular, I no longer have an oblong star shape problem. If you zoom in, you can see that the stars are very round, especially when compared to my previous images. The improved guiding also shows up in the level of detail found in the galaxy itself.
This is also the first image I've processed using the MaximDL package. It does a very good job of removing unwanted background light pollution and its almost as easy to use as DSS. It also has a number of features not found in DSS that should minimize the amount of manual post-processing I have been previously doing.