The constellation of Ursa Major is the site
of a beautiful spiral galaxy known as M81. This is one of the
easiest and most rewarding galaxies for the amateur astronomer.
It is a bright object, at magnitude 6.9, and can be easily
located with any optical instrument. Some say it can be spotted
with the naked eye under dark skies and ideal observing
conditions. M81 is the brightest member of a group of galaxies
called the M81 group. This galaxy is believed to have interacted
with its close neighbor, M82, at some point in the past. It was
also the site of a supernova explosion in 1993. M81 is located
approximately 12 million light-years from Earth.