What a difference a wavelength makes: On the left is the M82 Galaxy as seen in the visible light spectrum, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope — and the image we most associate with that galaxy. On the right is an x-ray image of the same galaxy, taken by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Even if Hubble had been a total disaster spewing one crappy image after the other for more than two decades, it would have been worth it just for this single image: a supernova explosion in the galaxy M82, taken on January 31, as it approached peak brightness.
Three days ago, a white dwarf went supernova in nearby Galaxy M82. A starburst galaxy, M82 is a popular target for telescopes on account of its brightness. But its newly formed supernova, which astronomers have named SN 2014J, just became the brightest object in all the galaxy – and it's only going to get brighter.
And with "just" I mean 11.4 million years ago, even while Steve Fossey just detected this bright and rare Type Ia supernova using a 'modest telescope in an unlikely spot: foggy north London.' Scientists say that it will be visible in the sky soon, as it brightens up. Here you can see the supernova appearing in the…
Galaxy M82 isn't just having kind of a blustery day — thanks to a recent near-collision with another galaxy, all its massive stars and supernovas are combining to create a massive galaxy-wide superwind. The result is that huge haze of red gas.
Can a single galaxy support two mid-sized black holes? This one does. This composite image shows the starburst galaxy M82, with two intermediate-sized "survivor" black holes that have managed to avoid falling into the galactic core.