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Contact: Diana Lutz
Washington University in St. Louis

M82 Starburst Galaxy

Caption: M82, or the Cigar Galaxy, is a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away from Earth. In the galaxy's center, stars are being born 10 times faster than they are inside the entire Milky Way galaxy. The high stellar birth and death rate made M82 a good test case for the theory that cosmic rays are generated in supernovae explosions. In this false-color image, X-ray data recorded by the Chandra X-ray observatory is blue; infrared light recorded by the Spitzer infrared telescope is red; Hubble space telescope observations of hydrogen line emission is orange, and the bluest visible light is yellow-green.


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