Baby stars spring to life at the supposedly desolate fringes of the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as M83, in this new image from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. Up to 140,000 light years from the galaxy's center, the outer arms of its "pinwheel" shape seem to flap away from the center like "giant red streamers," and these extended galaxy arms are giving birth to a surprising number of new stars. Want to see another image of the pinwheel galaxy extending itself?
These composite images, including data from the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array, give new insight into how stars can appear in a galaxy's backwoods. The Galaxy Evolution Explorer is an ultraviolet survey telescope. Its observations, shown here in blue and green, highlight the galaxy's farthest-flung clusters of young stars up to 140,000 light-years from its center. The Very Large Array observations show the radio emission in red. Images by NASA. [Galex]