M81 and M82 Galaxies

If you thought the Andromeda Galaxy and our Milky Way were the only interacting galaxies in the night sky, then think again! Locked in a gravitational duel, Bode’s Galaxy and the Cigar Galaxy will dance around one another for several billion years until they collide and form one massive body. In their most recent skirmish, the Cigar (pictured right) ignited ferocious star formation in Bode’s grand spiral arms, giving them their blue-purple hue. Similarly, the Cigar has been dubbed a “starburst” galaxy because stars are forming 10 times faster in it than in our own galaxy!

By Carl Crum ’24

By Shahnawaz Syed

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