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M82:
Chandra Images Seething Cauldron of Starburst Galaxy


M82
Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/PSU/CMU

M82, at a distance of 11 million light years from Earth, is the nearest starburst galaxy. Massive stars are forming and expiring in M82 at a rate ten times higher than in our galaxy. The bright spots in the center are supernova remnants and X-ray binaries. These are some of the brightest such objects known. The luminosity of the X-ray binaries suggests that most contain a black hole. The diffuse X-ray light in the image extends over several thousand light years, and is caused by multimillion degree gas flowing out of M82. A close encounter with a large galaxy, M81, in the last 100 million years is thought to be the cause of the starburst activity.

Multi-wavelength Images:
X-ray
M82, X-ray NASA/CXC/SAO
/PSU/CMU

Jpg (82 k)
Tiff (2.0 MB)
Optical
M82 - optical N.A.Sharp,AURA,
NOAO,NSF

Jpg (34 k)
Infrared
M82- infrared
SAO
Jpg (28 k)
Radio
M82- radio
MERLIN & VLA
Jpg (75 k)
Fast Facts for M82:
Credit  NASA/CXC/SAO/PSU/CMU
Scale  Image is 5 arcmin across.
Category  Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies, Black Holes
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 09h 55m 50.70s | Dec +69° 40' 37"
Constellation  Ursa Major
Observation Dates  September 20, 1999
Observation Time  13 hours
Obs. IDs  361, 1302
Color Code  Hot pink dots - the rest is intensity
Instrument  ACIS
Also Known As Cigar Galaxy
Distance Estimate  12 million light years
Release Date  January 14, 2000