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8 images of galaxies far, far away

By: Katherine Butler on March 11, 2012, 7:13 p.m.
Messier 82 galaxy

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/CXC/UofA

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Rainbow of a galaxy

The Messier 82 galaxy is shown here in what NASA describes as a “lively portrait,” composed of images from NASA's Spitzer, Hubble, and Chandra space observatories in a multi-wavelength, false-colored view. This galaxy is known by NASA to host a “hotbed” of young stars. It is located around 12 million light-years away in the Ursa Major constellation.  As NASA writes, “It is undergoing a renaissance of star birth in its middle age, with the most intense bursts of star formation taking place at its core.” It is believed to have a lot of interaction with its near neighbor, Messier 81, causing what NASA describes as a stellar ruckus.