Optical image of the spiral galaxy M81

Optical image of the spiral galaxy M81

R856/0046

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Caption

M81 galaxy. Optical image of the spiral galaxy M81 (NGC 3031) in the constellation Ursa Major. This galaxy lies around 12 million light years away, making it one of the closer galaxies to our own. The difference between the nucleus (yellow) and the spiral arms (blue) is clearly seen here. The nuclei of typical galaxies consist of older, yellower stars, as well as dense dust, which further reddens the colour. The arms, in contrast, are regions of young stars and starbirth, and appear blue.

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