Astronomy Picture of the Day

Bright Spiral Galaxy M81 from Hubble

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Bright Spiral Galaxy M81 from Hubble

The Hubble Space Telescope has resolved individual stars
in a spectacular new image of nearby spiral galaxy M81.

The feat is similar to
Edwin Hubble's
historic images with the Mt. Wilson 100-inch Hooker Telescope in the 1920s that
resolved stars in neighboring galaxy

Edwin Hubble was able to use individual
Cepheid variable stars to show that M31 was not
nearby swirling gas but rather an
entire galaxy
like our
Milky Way Galaxy.

This above image in
visible light
taken by the
Hubble Space Telescope
is being used in conjunction with
images being taken in
ultraviolet by
infrared by
Spitzer, and
X-rays with
to study how stars have formed and died over the history M81.

Light takes about 12 million
years to reach us from M81.

is visible with binoculars toward the constellation of the Great Bear
(Ursa Major).

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