British Astronomical Association
Supporting amateur astronomers since 1890

Secondary menu

Main menu

BAA Observing calendar

M81 is well placed

Monday, 2018, February 19 (All day)

Dominic Ford – originally published on

Bode's galaxy (M81, NGC 3031) in Ursa Major will be well placed for observation. It will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time.

At a declination of +69°04', it is easiest to see from the northern hemisphere and cannot be seen from latitudes much south of 0°S.

From London (click to change), it will be very well placed – it will be close enough to the north celestial pole that it will be high above the horizon all night.

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 precise position of M81 is as follows:

Object Right Ascension Declination Constellation Magnitude Angular Size
M81 09h55m30s +69°04' Ursa Major 6.9 0'25"

The coordinates above are given in J2000.0.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of