© Digitised Sky Survey (DSS); Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS-II)

Messier 81 is well placed

Dominic Ford, Editor
From the Deep Sky feed

Objects: M81
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Bode's Galaxy M81 (NGC 3031; mag 7.9) in Ursa Major will be well placed in the evening sky in coming weeks. On 19 February it will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time, and on subsequent evenings it will culminate four minutes earlier each day.

From Fairfield , it is visible all night because it is circumpolar. It will be highest in the sky at 23:50, 62° above your northern horizon. At dusk, it will become visible around 18:36 (EDT), 41° above your north-eastern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight around 05:35, 39° above your north-western horizon.

At a declination of 69°03'N, it is easiest to see from the northern hemisphere but cannot be seen from latitudes much south of 0°S.

Begin typing the name of a town near to you, and then select the town from the list of options which appear below.

At magnitude 6.9, M81 is quite faint, and certainly not visible to the naked eye, but can be viewed through a pair of binoculars or small telescope.

The position of M81 is as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
M81 09h55m30s 69°03'N Ursa Major 6.9 0'00"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The sky on 19 Feb 2020

The sky on 19 February 2020
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

26-day old moon
Waning Crescent


26 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 06:57 12:45 18:33
Venus 08:22 14:45 21:08
Moon 04:17 08:58 13:40
Mars 03:32 08:05 12:39
Jupiter 04:32 09:12 13:51
Saturn 05:06 09:52 14:38
All times shown in EST.


The circumstances of this event were computed using the DE430 planetary ephemeris published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

This event was automatically generated by searching the ephemeris for planetary alignments which are of interest to amateur astronomers, and the text above was generated based on an estimate of your location.

Image credit

© Digitised Sky Survey (DSS); Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS-II)






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