Messier 81 (also known as NGC 3031 or Bode's Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. M81 is one of the most striking examples of a grand design spiral galaxy, with near perfect arms spiraling into the very center. Because of its proximity to Earth, its large size, and its active galactic nucleus (which harbors a supermassive black hole) Messier 81 is a popular galaxy to study in professional astronomy research
Messier 82 (also known as NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy or M82) is the prototype nearby starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The starburst galaxy is five times as bright as the whole Milky Way and one hundred times as bright as our galaxy's center. In 2005, the Hubble Space Telescope revealed 197 young massive clusters in the starburst core. Throughout the galaxy's center, young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside our entire Milky Way Galaxy.