DR JEAN LORRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEAN LORRE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Optical photograph of the M82 galaxy (NGC 3034). Taken through a series of colour filters, the picture reveals the natural colours of each region of the galaxy & highlights low-contrast details. Because of its appearance, M82 was originally believed to be an exploding galaxy, but the current theory is that it is a normal spiral galaxy viewed edge-on; the red filaments apparently emerging from its core are thought to be a huge cloud of gas & dust through which the galaxy is moving. The white spot towards bottom right is a star in the line of sight.
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