The Infrared Universe: Galaxies
Cigar Galaxy (M82)
Messier 82 (M82), or the Cigar Galaxy, is an edge-on spiral undergoing a massive burst of star formation in its core. Many thousands of stars, and their surrounding gas and dust, have been stirred up. These stars are expelling violent winds that are blowing gas and dust out of the galaxy. The only hint of this in visible light are fountains of hot hydrogen gas streaming out of its disk. In infrared, the burst becomes clearer as we see massive amounts of dust also blowing out of the center.
CREDITS: Visible: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA). Acknowledgment: J. Gallagher (University of Wisconsin), M. Mountain (STScI), and P. Puxley (NSF). Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/C. Engelbracht (University of Arizona).