Coddington's Nebula in Ursa Major

May 10, 2019


Photographer: Greg Parker 
Summary Authors: Greg Parker; Jim Foster

Featured above is Coddington’s Nebula (at right center) in Ursa Major as observed from the New Forest Observatory in England on March 27, 2019. Over 17-hours of exposure time has gone into this image.

Coddington's Nebula is actually a dwarf, irregular galaxy. A member of the M81 cluster of galaxies, it’s some 12 million light-years away. Unlike our own Milky Way, with its rather complex spirals and central bars, dwarf irregular galaxies are thought to be some of the oldest and simplest forms of galaxies in the universe.

Note that the bright red star at bottom left is a carbon star known as SAO 15274 or VY Ursae Majoris, approximately 1,240 light years from us.

Photo Details: 5 hours worth of 20-minute subs were acquired with the Sky 90 array telescopes. I combined this with a little more than 12-hours of data taken of the same region two years ago.