Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

October 16, 1995
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Starburst Galaxy M94
Credit: NASA, Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope

Explanation: The spiral galaxy M94 is somewhat unusual in that it shows a great ring of bright young stars particularly apparent when observed in ultraviolet light, as shown above. Such a high abundance of these young blue stars may cause a galaxy to be designated a starburst galaxy. It is likely that many of the stars seen in the above ring were created when a density wave moving in the galaxy compressed existing galactic gas. The above picture was taken by the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope during the Astro-2 mission in March 1995.

Tomorrow's picture: Galaxy Dwingeloo 1 Emerges

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (GMU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA).
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
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