GALEX ultraviolet image of the interacting galaxies M81 and M82
Date: 08 January 2008
Depicts: M81, M82, Holmberg IX
Copyright: NASA, ESA, and D. de Mello (Catholic University of America/GSFC) & NASA/GALEX
A GALEX ultraviolet image of the interacting galaxies M81 and M82, which lie 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The gravity from each galaxy dramatically affected the other during their last close encounter, 200 million years ago. Gas density waves rippling around M81 make it a grand design spiral. M82 is undergoing a starburst at its core, creating glowing fingers of hydrogen.
Last Update: 1 September 2019