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Messier 82In celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope's 16th anniversary in space, NASA and the European Space Agency have released a handful of new images from the project.
This image, of Messier 82, is the sharpest wide-angle view ever obtained of the starburst galaxy. New stars are born in M82 10 times faster than they are inside in the Milky Way Galaxy, but this rapid rate of star formation will eventually be self-limiting. When star formation becomes too vigorous, it will destroy the material needed to make more stars.
This image is a composite of images taken from the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope. X-ray data recorded by Chandra appears in blue, infrared light recorded by Spitzer appears in red, and Hubble's observation of hydrogen emission appears in orange.
On July 24, 1994, the Hubble grabbed headlines with spectacular pictures of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy breaking up and then crashing into Jupiter. There are actually eight different crash sites in this photo.