NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Space Object of February, 2021

illustrated drop cap for the letter EEach Friday, the folks at Preachy will offer you something of a reflection for your weekend. This Friday, we present our first Space Object of the Month, in which a Preachy co-editor invites you to learn how to use his telescope (with him):

Items I will try to find: M81 (Bode’s Galaxy)

Why?: ‘Cause it is “well placed”

When: February 19. 2021

So I’ve been playing with this web site pretty hard. The best part about it is that it tells me what I can reasonably see from my home here in Austin, Texas, U.S. This February, I’ll be looking for Bode’s Galaxy, a spiral galaxy that’s about 12 million light years from said back yard. There are something like 250 billion stars in M81. They are arranged around a supermassive black hole, which, apparently, has “a mass of 70 million solar masses, or 15 times the mass of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.”