Messier 82 (M82, NGC 3034) is a remarkable galaxy of peculiar type in constellation Ursa Major. It is usually classified as irregular, though probably a distorted disk galaxy, and famous for its heavy star-forming activity, thus a prototype member of the class of starbursting galaxies. The red flares extending out from the central core are evidence of violent star formation. This image was taken under sub-par skies on February 7, 2011. It consists of images taken through red, blue, green, luminance, and h-alpha filters. The total exposure time is 3.5 hours. Click on the image for a closeup view.