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Sunday, May 22, 2011

HST pic of Dwarf Galaxy NGC 4163 shows Starburst Activity

HST pic of Dwarf Galaxy NGC 4163 shows Starburst Activity
Click on the image for full resolution (3.5 MB)

This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows myriad stars residing in the central region of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4163. The bluish dots are younger stars; the reddish dots, older stars. The irregularly shaped red blobs are regions of current starburst activity. Starbursts are areas of intense star formation. NGC 4163 is part of a Hubble study of starbursts in nearby, small, or dwarf, galaxies. Based on this study, astronomers have found that starbursts continue 100 times longer than first thought, lasting 200 million to 400 million years. These galaxies show that starbursts are not isolated events, but sweep across a galaxy.
The full resolution image weighs 3.5 MB, so please be patient when downloading!
Credit: NASA, ESA and K. McQuinn (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis)

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