The constellation Ursa Major is the site of a
spiral galaxy called M109. It is classified as a barred spiral.
The elongated shape of its central core can be seen even in
small instruments. This galaxy is located about 55 million
light-years from Earth and is believed to be receding from us at
a whopping 1142 km/sec. It was the site of a supernova in 1956
that reached a magnitude of 12.8. M109 is easily visible in
small instruments where its bright central region appears
pear-shaped. Larger instruments will reveal more detail.