In this composite image of the Whirlpool Galaxy, the Very Large Array has captured the vastness of this colliding pair like no other telescope can. In white is how the galaxies appear to optical telescopes: one giant spiral galaxy with a smaller one hanging off an arm. The VLA sees a much bigger picture. Colored blue are the cast-off gases that were once the outer spiral arms of these galaxies. In red are the areas where new stars are being born.
Credit: B. Saxton, (NRAO/AUI/NSF) from data provided by J. Hibbard
Technical Details Telescope: VLA; VLA; HST Band: C; L; B Date: 1991-03-01T00:00:00-05:00; 1992-03-29; 2005-01-20T21:51:18-05:00 Center: RA: 13:29:52.7, Dec: 47:00:46.86 Field of View: 31.5 x 31.5 arcminutes