M81 (right) and M82 (left) are a pair of interacting galaxies about 12 million light years away. M81 and M82 are also known as Bode’s Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy, respectively. Gravitational interactions between the two cause increased star formation and structural deformations, which is just barely noticeable in the center of M82.
I collected about 3.8 hours worth of images over the course of one January night.
Compare this with my images of these galaxies from 2007. Of course, pictures using a full fledged, 16 inch reflector have the potential to show a lot more detail. But I don’t think my results from a kit camera lens are too shabby, and I’ve learned a thing or two about post-processing since then.