Fires of Galactic Youth
This animation shows a typical young galaxy, teeming with hot, newborn stars and exploding supernovas. The supernovas are seen as white flashes of light. This image was released Dec. 21, 2004.
This image shows six of the three-dozen "ultraviolet luminous galaxies" spotted in our corner of the universe by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. These massive galaxies greatly resemble newborn galaxies that were common in the early universe. The discovery came as a surprise, because astronomers had thought that the universe's "birth-rate" had declined, and that massive galaxies were no longer forming. This image was released Dec. 21, 2004.
The Lives and Times of Stars
This image of the nearby spiral galaxy M101, better known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, is a three-color combination of images from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) spacecraft. The ultraviolet light, seen in blue in the arms of the galaxy, shows young stars (only 10 million years old), while the diffuse green visible light traces stars that have been living for more than 100 years. The red visible light image shows the stars that formed over a billion years ago.