JODRELL BANK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JODRELL BANK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
False colour radio image of the central region of the M81 cluster of galaxies, recorded at the 21 cm wavelength of hydrogen gas by the 250 foot (76 metre) diameter Mark 1A radio telescope at Jodrell Bank, near Manchester, England. Colours represent intensity of radio emission (& hence the amount of gas), ranging from white (most intense) through to purple. The picture shows that the individual galaxies are embedded in a vast hydrogen cloud. M81 (NGC 3031), the spiral galaxy which dominates this small & nearby cluster, is the white region at centre; NGC 3077, a small irregular galaxy, is the white area at lower left; and NGC 2976, a dwarf spiral, is the red area at bottom right.
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