This dazzling picture actually pieces together 100 images of the galaxy Messier 101, which is 10 million light years away. Our own Milky Way galaxy would look very much like this if seen from a similar distance. The images were captured by a camera on the Hubble Space Telescope as it orbits Earth. As part of their observations, Museum astrophysicist Michael Shara and his team are pinpointing the brightest, hottest stars in this galaxy, called “Wolf-Rayet” stars. They hope to confirm that these highly luminous bodies give rise to supernovas, as predicted by stellar evolution theory.


  • Title: Views of a Galaxy
  • Creator: Michael M. Shara
  • Publisher: American Museum of Natural History
  • Department / Discipline: Astrophysics

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