To celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 16 years of success, the two space agencies involved in the project, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), are releasing this image of the magnificent starburst galaxy, Messier 82 (M82). Amazing photos.
Throughout the galaxy’s center, young stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside our entire Milky Way Galaxy. The resulting huge concentration of young stars carved into the gas and dust at the galaxy’s center. The fierce galactic superwind generated from these stars compresses enough gas to make millions of more stars.
This mosaic image is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of M82. The galaxy is remarkable for its bright blue disk, webs of shredded clouds, and fiery-looking plumes of glowing hydrogen blasting out of its central regions.
Composite of multi-wavelength images of the active galaxy M82 from the three Great Observatories: Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope. X-ray data recorded by Chandra (courtesy of NASA/CXC/JHU/D.Strickland) appears here in blue; infrared light recorded by Spitzer (courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/C. Engelbracht (University of Arizona)) appears in red; Hubble’s observations (courtesy of NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)) of hydrogen emission appears in orange, and the bluest visible light appears in yellow-green.
Composite image of the active galaxy M82 from infrared observations by Spitzer Space Telecope in three wavelength bands coded in red (longest wavelength), green, and blue (shortest wavelengths).
The central "inner-city" portion of the galaxy showing the combined light of countless stars and revealing numerous star-forming clumps, dark red clouds of gas and dust obscuring the light from the galaxy’s core, and an overall field of fainter resolved and unresolved red (cooler) and blue (hotter) stars.