A Galaxy in Different Lights
This side-by-side comparison shows the nearby galaxy Messier 81, which is similar to our own Milky Way, in both visible (left) and ultraviolet light (right). While visible-light images of galaxies reveal the distribution of stars, ultraviolet-light images highlight the most active, young stars. The ultraviolet image of Messier 81 shows that the galaxy's spiral arms are dotted with pockets of violent star-forming activity.
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer is sweeping the entire sky in ultraviolet wavelengths, mapping galaxies and their star-formation rates across 10 billion years of cosmic time.
The visible-light image is from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. The ultraviolet-light image was taken by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer.
December 21, 2004
- Full Resolution TIFF [3000x2100, 7.5 MB]
- Full Resolution JPEG [3000x2100, 3.2 MB]
- Screen Resolution JPEG [450x315, 36 KB]