Or, pre-1998, Opal Fruits.

Behold: the spiral galaxy NGC 4736, aka Messier 94 – 15 million light years away in the in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici). To wit:

A popular target for Earth-based astronomers, the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across, with spiral arms sweeping through the outskirts of its broad disk. But this Hubble Space Telescope field of view spans about 7,000 light-years across M94‘s central region. The featured close-up highlights the galaxy’s compact, bright nucleus, prominent inner dust lanes, and the remarkable bluish ring of young massive stars. The ring stars are all likely less than 10 million years old, indicating that M94 is a starburst galaxy that is experiencing an epoch of rapid star formation. The circular ripple of blue stars is likely a wave propagating outward, having been triggered by the gravity and rotation of a oval matter distributions. Because M94 is relatively nearby, astronomers can better explore details of its starburst ring.

(Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA)


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7 thoughts on “Starburst

    1. Cian

      The M94 is 30,000 light-years across. If you tried to cross this as fast as the fastest manmade object (Helios 2 @70km/s) it would take over 128 million years.
      Even if you travelled the M50 at the “speed” a nail grows (3mm/month) you could go end-to-end over a hundred times before Helios 2 crossed M94.

      1. Cú Chulainn

        We are stardust.. everything on this planet is stardust. We were once one of those blue stars spinning in the outer arm of the galaxy. We are now orbiting a yellow version star spinning in the outer arm of our galaxy. If this thing we call life came from a man in the sky with a white beard then that’s a miracle. If it comes from within, then that’s the miracle of all miracles.

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