M81 is a “grand design” spiral galaxy and shows a fine mixture of bright core with mature yellow stars near the centre, dust lanes and blue spiral arms full of massive O and B-class stars and bright zones where stars have formed in dense clouds of hydrogen that fluoresce red-pink in the intense ultra-violet light given off by the stars.
In the foreground, some of the dust lanes seem to rise up more vertically – probably due to interaction with nearby galaxy M82.
A small irregular dwarf galaxy that is under M81’s gravitational influence is seen above the disk – Holmberg IX..
26 x 5 minute exposures. Dithered and drizzled.
Takahashi 150mm refractor
SBIG ST-4000XCM One Shot Color CCD camera
Mount: Paramount GTS
Field of view 49 x 49 arcminutes
Post-processing in PixInsight and Photoshop CC.