The Spitzer Space Telescope website will be down on Tuesday July 29th from 9am PST to 10am PST for server maintenance. Thank you for your patience.

Download Image

About the Image

About the Object

Color Mapping

02.10.09

Spiral Galaxy M101 - Spitzer Space Telescope

The galaxy Messier 101 is a swirling spiral of stars, gas, and dust. Messier 101 is nearly twice as wide as our Milky Way galaxy. Spitzer's view, taken in infrared light, reveals the galaxy's delicate dust lanes as yellow-green filaments. Such dense dust clouds are where new stars can form. In this image, dust warmed by the light of hot, young stars glows red. The rest of the galaxy's hundreds of billions of stars are less prominent and form a blue haze. Astronomers can use infrared light to examine the dust clouds where stars are born.