M81 in Ursa Major


M81 can be seen in binoculars in a sufficiently dark sky, but a telescope is better for viewing this barred spiral galaxy in Ursa Major. It shines at magnitude 8.5, is around 7 million ly away, and at 36,000 ly across is smaller than our own galaxy.
It has a fairly close companion in M82 and may have collided with it, several hundred million years ago.
Find M81