The magnetic field lines of the the Cigar Galaxy (also called M82) appear in this composite image produced by NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope. The lines follow the bipolar outflows (red) generated by exceptionally high rates of star formation.

A composite image of the Cigar Galaxy (also called M82), a starburst galaxy about 12 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The magnetic field detected by the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus instrument (known as HAWC+) on SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), shown as streamlines, appears to follow the bipolar outflows (red) generated by the intense nuclear starburst. The image combines visible starlight (gray) and a tracing of hydrogen gas (red) observed from the Kitt Peak Observatory, with near-infrared and mid-infrared starlight and dust (yellow) observed by SOFIA and the Spitzer Space Telescope.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech in Pasadena, California. Spacecraft operations are based at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Littleton, Colorado. Data are archived at the Infrared Science Archive housed at the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

For more information about the Spitzer mission, visit http://www.nasa.gov/spitzer and http://spitzer.caltech.edu.

NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley manages SOFIA's program, science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA; Columbia, Md.) and the German SOFIA Institute (DSI; University of Stuttgart).

For more information about SOFIA, visit http://www.nasa.gov/sofia or http://www.dlr.de/en/sofia.

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