Maffei 2 galaxy, infrared image

Maffei 2 galaxy, infrared image

C012/1933

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Caption

Maffei 2 galaxy, infrared image. This spiral galaxy is 10.9 million light years from Earth, in the constellation of Cassiopeia. This image was obtained with the IRAC instrument on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Obscured by foreground dust clouds in visible light, this infrared view looks through those dust clouds to show this galaxy's unusual structure which includes a strong central bar and asymmetric spiral arms. The core (glowing white) shows a type of strong star formation known as starburst activity. This star formation is caused by gravitational forces that pull gas and dust (red) into the central region. Image published in 2010.

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