Spitzer Sees Shrouded Burst of Stars

 The collision of two spiral galaxies, has triggered this luminous starburst, the brightest ever seen taking place far away from the centers, or nuclei, of merging galaxies. A brilliant burst of star formation is revealed in this image combining observations from NASA's Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes. The collision of two spiral galaxies, has triggered this luminous starburst, the brightest ever seen taking place far away from the centers, or nuclei, of merging galaxies. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/H. Inami (SSC/Caltech)
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November 22, 2010

Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have found a stunning burst of star formation that beams out as much infrared light as an entire galaxy.

The "starburst" stands as the most luminous ever seen taking place away from the centers, or nuclei, of merging parent galaxies. The new findings show that galaxy mergers can pack a real star-making wallop far from their respective galactic centers, where star-forming dust and gases typically pool.

Read the full story at:
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/news/1224-feature10-19-Spitzer-Reveals-a-Buried-Explosion-Sparked-by-a-Galactic-Train-Wreck .

Whitney Clavin (818) 354-4673
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
whitney.clavin@jpl.nasa.gov

2010-391



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