Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos!
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is
featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional
Today's Picture: June 27, 1995
An Ultraviolet Image of Messier 101
Picture Credit: NASA, Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT)
This giant spiral galaxy, Messier 101 (M101), was photographed
by the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope onboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour
during the Astro-2 mission (March 2 - 18, 1995).
The image has been computer processed so that the colours represent
the intensity of ultraviolet light.
Pictures of galaxies like this one
show mainly clouds of gas containing
newly formed stars many times more massive than the sun,
which glow strongly in ultraviolet light.
In contrast, visible light pictures of galaxies
tend to be dominated by the yellow and red light of older stars.
Ultraviolet light, invisible to the human eye, is blocked by
ozone in the atmosphere so ultraviolet pictures of celestial objects
must be taken from space.
For more information see
NASA Astro-2 UIT release.
Tomorrow's picture: The Cat's Eye Nebula
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