Europe and the USA have joined forces to bring the world some beautiful images of distant galaxies. The image above, of the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51, combines pictures from the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory and the Hubble telescope.

The Hubble telescope can take pictures in the visible spectrum, and the Herschel telescope can take sharp pictures in the infrared wavelengths. The combined images are high resolution and can show new details about the objects they capture. Here, the red clumps are known areas of star formation.

Herschel yields new galaxy image [via the BBC]