M82

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Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
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M82: The nearest starburst galaxy to Earth at a distance of 12 million light years.
(Credit: Inset: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Tsinghua Univ./H. Feng et al.; Full-field: X-ray: NASA/CXC/JHU/D.Strickland; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA/The Hubble Heritage Team; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of AZ/C. Engelbracht)

Caption: This composite image of M82 shows Chandra data (blue), optical data from Hubble (green and orange), and infrared data from Spitzer (red). The pullout is a Chandra image that shows the central region of the galaxy and contains two bright X-ray sources that may be intermediate-mass black holes. Evidence suggests these black holes avoided falling into the center of the galaxy and could be examples of the seeds required for the growth of supermassive black holes in galaxies.

Scale: Inset image is 1.8 arcmin across (about 6,300 light years across)

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
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