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December 12, 2005

Starburst Galaxy M82

Starburst Galaxy M82

This is a color-coded picture of the archetypal starburst galaxy M82. It shows the horizontal stellar disk of the galaxy, which harbors its active star formation, and a perpendicular super-galactic wind of ionized gas powered by the energy released in the starburst.

More about this Image
This image was created using data from the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope on Kitt Peak in Tucson, AZ, and combining it with data from the WFPC2 camera on the Hubble Space Telescope. Purple represents emission in ionized hydrogen (H-alpha) and ionized nitrogen and the green is ionized sulfur in the WIYN data. In the HST image, these colors refer to H-alpha and nitrogen separately. Note the varying angular resolution of the dust lanes in the central part of the superwind on either side of the stellar disk.

These data are being used in a study about the connection between structures within M82 and its galactic super wind. This image was first presented at the Essential Science in Hubbles Final Years symposium, held in May 2004 at the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The WIYN 3.5-meter and 0.9-meter telescopes on Kitt Peak are operated by a consortium of the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, Yale University and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO).

Credit: Credit: Mark Westmoquette, University College London; Jay Gallagher, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Linda Smith, University College London; and WIYN//NSF, NASA/ESA.

Special Restrictions: Use of this image is restricted by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). For further information, see the NOAO/AURA Image Library's Conditions of Use Web page.

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