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Messier 82 (M82)

M82, NGC 3034


An irregular galaxy undergoing a starburst episode. The galaxy is creating stars at 10 times the rate of normal galaxies.


Found in the northern constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear)

Distance from Earth

12 million light-years


The galaxy is 40,000 light-years across. (The image below shows a portion of the galaxy that is 28,000 light-years across.)

The galaxy M82 is forming stars 10 times faster than normal galaxies.

Enlarge Image


"Fast Facts: Messier 82" is a table that lists the name, description, location, size, and distance of the galaxy from Earth. A picture of the galaxy is included.

Printer-friendly web page
Adaptable, at teacher's discretion
How to use in the classroom

Use this resource as:

A source of information. Read the table to find out about this object.

A mapping activity. Locate the galaxy's associated constellation on a star map.

A large-number recognition activity. Have students study this table and other galaxy Fast Fact tables.  Students can order objects based upon their distances from Earth.

An inquiry tool. Have students write down questions they would like answered about the image and the information in the Fast Facts table.

An engagement tool. Involve students in a discussion.

Related materials

HubbleSite press release: "Happy Sweet Sixteen, Hubble Telescope!"

Amazing Space resources by topic: Galaxies