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Click to enlargeHubble M82 Close-up Photo

March 7, 2001
Photo No: H2001-08b1 (Visible)
Hubble Spies Huge Clusters of Stars Formed by Ancient Encounter

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped these two views of the heart of the galaxy M82. The image at left was taken in visible light; the picture at right, in infrared light. In the infrared view, the telescope's Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer peered through thick dust lanes to find some of the galaxy's more than 100 super star clusters. The clusters are the larger pink and yellow dots scattered throughout the picture. They were formed during a violent collision with the galaxy M81 about 600 million years ago. The galaxy is 12 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major. The pictures were taken Sept. 15, 1997.

Credits: NASA, ESA, R. de Grijs (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, UK)

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