The starburst galaxy M82 is one of the most studied objects in the sky. Now, an international team of astronomers, using data from the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and the ground-based WIYN Telescope, have traced the source of the enigmatic, million mile per hour winds that shower the cosmos to the starburst heart of the galaxy. The violent winds, astronomers believe, were sparked by the M82's near-miss collision with the neighboring spiral galaxy M81, which set off an explosive burst of star formation in the the galaxy's characteristic signature starburst.

Image courtesy: Mark Westmoquette, University College London; Jay Gallagher, UW-Madison; Linda Smith, University College London; WIYN/NSF; NASA/ESA

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