Messier 82 is an unusual cigar-shaped galaxy. It is usually classified as an irregular galaxy, but a study in 2005 discovered evidence of spiral arms. Tidal forces from Messier 81 have compressed gas and dust in Messier 81's core, which has triggered a large amount of star formation. As a result, it is classified as a starburst galaxy. Messier 81 and Messier 82 are moving toward each other and will eventually merge into a single galaxy.
|Messier 81 and Messier 82, Epsilon-200 on NJP mount, 14x240|