M81 and M82

The M81 and M82 galaxies lie close to one another in the sky but are strikingly different, as revealed in the infrared view. The blindingly bright glow of M82 in the infrared vastly outshines its neighbor, due to the phenomenally strong rate of star formation in its core. Such activity is more evident when you can see the two objects on the same brightness scale, as shown here.

Visible: The galaxies are of similar brightness in visible light.

Infrared: The starburst in M82 is blindingly bright in the infrared.

CREDITS: Visible: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA. Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA.
Default View
image of Visible M81 and M82
image of Infrared M81 and M82