Astronomy Picture of the Day
    


Galaxy Wars: M81 versus M82
<< Yesterday 3.02.2016 Tomorrow >>
Galaxy Wars: M81 versus M82
Credit & Copyright: AndrČ van der Hoeven, Neil Fleming & Michael Van Doorn
Explanation: In the lower left corner, surrounded by blue spiral arms, is spiral galaxy M81. In the upper right corner, marked by red gas and dust clouds, is irregular galaxy M82. This stunning vista shows these two mammoth galaxies locked in gravitational combat, as they have been for the past billion years. The gravity from each galaxy dramatically affects the other during each hundred million-year pass. Last go-round, M82's gravity likely raised density waves rippling around M81, resulting in the richness of M81's spiral arms. But M81 left M82 with violent star forming regions and colliding gas clouds so energetic the galaxy glows in X-rays. This big battle is seen from Earth through the faint glow of an Integrated Flux Nebula, a little studied complex of diffuse gas and dust clouds in our Milky Way Galaxy. In a few billion years only one galaxy will remain.

Follow APOD on: Facebook, Google Plus, or Twitter

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
 < February 2016  >
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29





Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: colliding galaxies - M 81 - M 82
Publications with words: colliding galaxies - M 81 - M 82
See also:
All publications on this topic >>