15 Breathtaking Photos from Space That Will Blow Your Mind
The Cigar Galaxy’s Magnetic Field
A composite image of the Cigar Galaxy (also called M82), a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major.
The magnetic field detected by the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus instrument (known as HAWC+) on SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), shown as streamlines, appears to follow the bipolar outflows (red) generated by the intense nuclear starburst.
The image combines visible starlight (gray) and a tracing of hydrogen gas (red) observed from the Kitt Peak Observatory, with near-infrared and mid-infrared starlight and dust (yellow) observed by SOFIA and the Spitzer Space Telescope.