Detailed Images of Spiral Galaxy M81
Hubble's high-resolution images of distinct regions contained within M81 illustrate various structures contained within the spiral galaxy. [Left] The inner bulge and nucleus of M81 are relatively structure free, except for fine dust lanes that wind into the center. Several whitish-colored concentrations of stars, known as globular clusters are easily visible. [Middle] A string of star-forming regions show along a spiral arm, their glowing hydrogen gas appears green in color. A denser concentration of dust is visible along the arms. [Right] Interspersed within the active spiral arms are areas of new star formation. Here, associations of hot blue stars have formed. These massive stars' lifetimes are relatively short compared to the overall age of the galaxy. Their existance and inevitable death will help to enrich the surrounding area with heavier elements which will in turn make more robust, longer-living stars.