NOAO / AURA / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAO / AURA / NSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Starburst galaxy M82, coloured composite image. This irregular galaxy, 10.5 million light years away, consists of a horizontal stellar disk (white) and a perpendicular supergalactic wind of ionised gas (coloured purple). Starburst galaxies are distinguished by their exceptionally high level of star formation, and it is the energy released from this which powers the wind. Purple represents ionised hydrogen and sulphur. The combined images have been used to study the connection between the superwind and the galaxy's structure. They were taken by the WIYN 3.5-metre telescope on Kitt Peak, USA, and the WFPC2 camera on the Hubble Space Telescope.
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