This is well known galaxy pair in Great Bear constellation – M82 Cigar Galaxy and M81 Bode’s Galaxy. Both placed about 12 million light years away are quite easy target for visual observing even through the binoculars. Messier 81 has been discovered by Johann Elert Bode in 1774. M81 galaxy is the largest member of M81 Group, a group of 34 galaxies located in Ursa Major. Gravitational interactions of M81 with M82 and NGC3077 (see Great Bear fuzzies) have stripped hydrogen gas away from all three galaxies, forming gaseous filamentary structures. The galaxies seems to be emerged in the delicate dust structures, these structures are known as Integrated Flux Nebula, and are placed in our Galaxy (see Great Bear’s fleece) that’s why the background does not seem to be quite flat.
M82 galaxy was previuosly believed to be an irregular galaxy. In 2005 however, two symmetric spiral arms were discovered in near infrared images.
There are also some distant worlds recorded in the image – the brighter one is 17.6mag and is placed about 9 billion light years away http://skyserver.sdss.org/dr9/en/tools/explore/obj.asp?id=1237663917349273644
The fainter has apparent magnitude 19.8 ans is 12 billion light years away http://skyserver.sdss.org/dr9/en/tools/explore/obj.asp?id=1237663787964825716