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Starburst Galaxy M82
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Starburst Galaxy M82

January 26, 2005
This image 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 supergalactic wind of ionized gas powered by the energy released in the starburst.

To make this image, data from the WIYN 3.5-meter telescope on Kitt Peak were combined 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 of the connection between structures within M82 and its galactic superwind. This image was first presented at the “Essential Science in Hubble's Final Years” symposium, held 3-6 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).