M81 — Click on image to enlarge

One of my first color images, M81, aka NGC 3031, aka Bode’s Nebula, is a large bright “grand design spiral galaxy” in Ursa Major, 12 million light years away. Traditionally, M31 has been designated the farthest object in the universe visible with the unaided eye, but there are reports this honor may belong to M81 (in the setting of excellent vision and really dark skies). 

Technical details as follows:

Imaged from MYHY Observatory in the Philadelphia suburbs in 2004 using a 10″ OGS RC @ f/9 and an SBIG ST10XME on a Paramount ME. Image scale 0.6″/pixel. LRGB with 2.5 hours Lum, 30 min/channel RGB (binned 2×2).  Originally processed in CCDsoft and Photoshop, but reprocessed using newer methods in 2018 (calibration in Maxim, alignment/integration in PixInsight, deconvolution in PixInsight, and the rest in Photoshop).