Monday, February 21, 2011

The Cigar Galaxy

This image of the Cigar Galaxy, Messier 82 (M82) or NGC 3034, was obtained using ACAM on the William Herschel Telescope. It is a colour composite made from data collected using red (including hydrogen alpha), green and blue filters. Credit: Pablo Rodríguez-Gil (IAC) y Pablo Bonet (IAC) [ JPEG | PDF (with text) ].

M82 is an irregular prototype starburst galaxy, whose centre is believed to be experiencing an episode of intense star formation. The red glow is from a superwind of ionised hydrogen gas, expanding out from the centre as a result of the combined winds of many individual stars.

ACAM instrument is a versatile optical imager and low-resolution spectrograph designed and built by ING. It is permanently mounted at a folded-Cassegrain focus of the William Herschel Telescope, adding more flexibility to the observational operation of the telescope. More information can be found at the ACAM home page.

Javier Méndez

Public Relations Officer
The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes