Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

This beautiful image shows one of the spiral arms of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M83 or NGC 5236. This galaxy is located about 15-million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. M83 is a barred spiral galaxy and is one of the closest such objects to Earth; it is easily visible with binoculars.

This particular image, taken in 2009 by the Hubble Space telescope, imaged wavelengths from ultraviolet and near-infrared, revealing the history of star formation in this sector of the galaxy. Here, you can see M83’s galactic core, many bright blue star forming areas containing stars between 1 and 10 million years, and the remnants of about 60 supernovae.

See a larger image here.

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