Colorful Motion of Stars | Space Wallpaper

Galactic Chromodynamics

About this Image

This vivid space wallpaper resembles an abstract painting, or perhaps a contemporary stained-glass window. But it is actually an unusual view of a galaxy taken with the new MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Colors in astronomical pictures are usually related to the real color of an object. In this image, however, the colors represent the motion of the stars that form the giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 — one of the brightest galaxies in the Virgo Cluster which lies about 50 million light-years away.

Credit: Eric Emsellem/ESO

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