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Have a Cigar! New Observations of Messier 82

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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ESA’s space-borne X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has carried out an exclusive, 50-plus-hour observation of the starburst galaxy Messier 82, for the ‘100 Hours of Astronomy’ cornerstone project for the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

This first image shows bright knots in the plane of the galaxy, indicating a region of intense star formation, and emerging plumes of supergalactic winds glowing in X-rays. 

XMM-Newton has been studying the sky in X-ray, optical and ultraviolet wavelengths simultaneously, since its launch in December 1999.  

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Messier 82 has several names including: M82, the Cigar Galaxy and NGC 3034. Located in the constellation Ursa Major at a distance of about 12 million light-years, it is the nearest and one of the most active starburst galaxies, meaning it shows an exceptionally high rate of star formation.

M82 is interacting gravitationally with its neighbour, the spiral galaxy Messier 81, which is probably the cause for the violent starburst activity in the region around its center.

This second image of Messier 82, compiled from observations in the optical and infrared, shows the very bright starry disc of the galaxy with striking dust lanes. 

Source: ESA. More images, including a downloadable poster, are here. 100 Hours of Astronomy ended on Sunday, but the website still has loads of fun information. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 celebration is, of course, ongoing!


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Anaconda
Member
Anaconda
April 8, 2009 8:16 AM
This galaxy appears to be an active galaxy with emissions from its axial plane. The story states: “…emerging plumes of supergalactic winds glowing in X-rays. ” I know this is a general interest website, but isn’t the above phrase a regrettable case of ‘dumbing down’ the description? Couldn’t the story have stated the above phrase in a way that conveyed more information? Say, “[T]he emerging plumes of plasma, electromagnetically charged particles, flowing through intense magnetic fields are emitting synchrotron radiation which glows in both x-rays and radio waves.” Is this description a little more technical? Well…er…yes…but, that hasn’t stopped UniverseToday from presenting a story that did cover this added imformation, see In Depth Observing – M81 and M82(UniverseToday).… Read more »
Anaconda
Member
Anaconda
April 8, 2009 1:16 PM

Why the active star formation areas?

This is an active galaxy which suggests active areas in the galaxy where strong magnetic fields, electric currents, and plasma come together to form stars in galactic z- pinches.

Concise enough?

Brian Ventrudo
Member
April 8, 2009 6:47 AM

That’s one messed-up-looking galaxy.

It looks like a standard Sc spiral that got run over by a truck.

Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 8, 2009 7:35 AM

Outstanding multiwavelength view of the nearest starburst galaxy to us! The blue Xray emission shooting out perpendicular to the plane of the galaxy is particularly impressive. Thanks for the links to the extra pix, some of the others are quite fascinating.

Anaconda
Member
Anaconda
April 8, 2009 2:59 PM
@ star gazer: First, I did answer your question: star gazer requested: “Please make it brief and to the point and nothing else…” What you really mean , is that I answered it too quickly — it was too easy. Yes, Plasma Cosmology is straight forward. star gazer asks: “why don’t ALL galaxies do the same thing, and ALL THE TIME.!!!!!!!!” Again, easy, because galaxies evolve from one form to another. It may be 10 billion years, who knows, but galaxies have a beginning, middle and an end. Not all galaxies started at the same time so they are at different stages in their development or evolution. There are stages in a galaxies development or evolution where star… Read more »
Excalibur
Member
Excalibur
April 8, 2009 9:27 AM

…yeah, and they totally covered up any information about gravity holding the galaxy togerther…

@Anaconda:

Not everyone do things the way you do, most people even do things better than you do…

Olaf
Member
Olaf
April 8, 2009 9:43 AM

@Anaconda:

It is a cover-up by scientists. They hide these plasma details so the public would not ask questions that hide the real truth, that we are all made up of electricity. LOL

star grazer
Guest
star grazer
April 8, 2009 11:03 AM
Anaconda The feed has this information: ‘M82 is interacting gravitationally with its neighbour, the spiral galaxy Messier 81, which is probably the cause for the violent starburst activity in the region around its center’ I am not an expert on these subject matters, however, this statement ‘which is probably the cause’ -I am confused, if this is an ‘Electric-Plasma Universe’ as you and your co-horts claims, and gravity is not the true cause of the interesting results of many of the interacting galaxies, where is the plasma stream or lightning connecting M81 and M82??? I cannot believe M82 is doing what it is doing because M82 is having a very serious attitude problem!! Please explain ‘What Is The… Read more »
star grazer
Guest
star grazer
April 8, 2009 12:46 PM

Anaconda-the state by the author ‘WHICH IS PROBABLY THE CAUSE’ for the violent starburst activity in the region around its center. I believe 99.99999925% the author made an error-however, I am open to your answer to my question: WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF WHY M82 IS IN SUCH STAR FORMATIONS: I am just a serious amateur
astronomer and have many other interests, however, I would like to know your answer.
Please make it brief and to the point and nothing else
Thank you

star grazer
Guest
star grazer
April 8, 2009 2:07 PM

Acaconda-there is NO doubt it is an active galaxy, however, your link got me to thinking,
why don’t ALL galaxies do the same thing, and ALL THE TIME.!!!!!!!!
You still did not answer my simple question,
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF WHY M82 IS IN SUCH STAR FORMATION’ to make it more clear ‘WHAT STARTED IT?’
I will say again, your answer and the link tells me ‘ why don’t ALL galaxies do the same thing, and ALL THE TIME!!!!!

GekkoNZ
Member
April 8, 2009 2:28 PM
Stargrazer….why do you persist in trying to reason with these people? Time and time again, we all get to see that these people cherrypick evidence, fall into fallacious holes and unsuccessfully try to explain already known physics with their own theories. Never mind the fact that if they were actually onto something, physicists the world over would jump on it faster than you could say Nobel Prize. This is no different than trying to show religious and magic believing people the error of their delusions…reason, logic, evidence, these are all accepted and denied at whim… Cant we please just ignore them? People are starting to ignore Oilismastery now, and its having a lot of success in shutting him… Read more »
GekkoNZ
Member
April 8, 2009 2:32 PM

Just let it lie people…they are almost certainly wrong. Who really cares?

Truth is absolute, something is true or it is not. Peoples beliefs are irrelevant.

star grazer
Guest
star grazer
April 8, 2009 2:53 PM

Joe The Sixpacker Says
I’m very well aware of OIM and clan, since he can’t answer a simple question and give me
voo-doo mumbo jumbo about the EU, I will stay with saying gravity overwhelming rules the Universe, and electrical forces plays a minor role. I have plenty of time to ruffles some feathers-birds of a feather stays together, unfortunately for them, these birds lives in caves.and comes out at times to drop some bird droppings lol
Take care

Ivan3man_At_Large
Member
Ivan3man_At_Large
April 8, 2009 7:12 PM

RE: Anaconda

The Troll’s Brain and MEMORY

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
April 8, 2009 7:54 PM
M82 is a Seyfert galaxy, and is probably in a phase where the central black hole has a lot of accretion magnetichydrodynamic activity around it. Our galaxy in contrast is comparatively quiet right now, though there is a large nebula apparently heading to the central black hole. This could start some fireworks more locally. M81 and 82 make for reasonable observing if you have a 8″ or larger telescope. As for beliefs mattering, yes in the end people’s beliefs are of little importance. Yet they can serve to obscure the truth from people’s eyes. We are in danger of entering an age converse to the middle age. Then the Church imposed a single dogma which bound the western… Read more »
Feenixx
Member
April 9, 2009 2:52 AM
Joe The Sixpacker Says: “Truth is absolute, something is true or it is not. Peoples beliefs are irrelevant.” hmmm…. do you mind if I hold a different view? 1) I reckon people’s believes are quite important…. as long as everybody (the holders of those beliefs and those who are supposed to believe them) respects the fact that they are not truths. They could be seen as models which help people to understand things… as long as we are prepared to learn and sometimes step down according to what we have learned. 2) I often have problems with “truths”: I look at them as models (based on beliefs) which have turned out to be useful, to make predictions… but… Read more »
Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 9, 2009 5:55 AM

Sheesh, back to the usual regurgitated nonsense. Sigh. Anaconda states: “Isn’t that the point: Having readers come away from the story better informed?’. If that is the point, than skipping posts by OilllsMastery, Anaconda, solrey, and the like then a requirement..

Jon Hanford
Member
Jon Hanford
April 9, 2009 6:02 AM

@ Anaconda, since UT is obviously dumbing down its stories and obviously hiding the truth about EU, PU, EC, PC, why not start your own blog to fully inform your followers of the real truth behind the workings of the universe. This would leave us deluded UT devotees to our own mistaken notions about how the universe really operates!

solrey
Member
April 9, 2009 10:38 AM
@anaconda Don’t forget, plasma structure is extremely complex, so large scale structure doesn’t have to be limited to a spiral morphology, but it’s likely to be the most common. M82 does have a structure like some supernova, as mentioned in your linked article…scalability. Plasma forms cellular structure, shaped by magnetic fields and angular momentum, whether it’s a spherical plasmoid, like a star, or ovoid, like a galaxy. You are right about the evolution of plasma structure, much of what we see is in one phase or another of a similar evolution. It is true that many articles dance around electromagnetic phenomena with ambiguous terminology or just simple omission of important, often unexplained, data like non-thermal radiation. I usually… Read more »
jonathan
Guest
jonathan
April 9, 2009 10:40 AM

why do you want to have bad breath in such a great time?

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