Image: A Hubble view of starburst galaxy Messier 94

October 26, 2015 by Ashley Morrow, NASA
Credit: ESA/NASA

This image shows the galaxy Messier 94, which lies in the small northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs, about 16 million light-years away.

Within the bright ring or starburst ring around Messier 94, new stars are forming at a high rate and many young, bright stars are present within it.

The cause of this peculiarly shaped star-forming region is likely a pressure wave going outwards from the , compressing the gas and dust in the outer region.

The compression of material means the gas starts to collapse into denser clouds. Inside these , gravity pulls the gas and dust together until temperature and pressure are high enough for stars to be born.

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