The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on January 15 (Friday) shared a captivating picture of the Cigar galaxy on its Instagram handle.
While sharing the image, NASA captioned it as "Get in loser, we're going stargazing," relating it with the iconic dialogue from the movie Mean Girls. The famous line was "Get in loser, we're going shopping" and was delivered by queen bee Regina George, played by Rachel McAdams in the film.
The caption provided by NASA explained the image showing the magnetic fields in Messier 82, or the Cigar galaxy, as lines over a visible light and infrared composite image of the galaxy from the NASAs Hubble Space Telescope and the Spitzer Space Telescope.
Giving the idea of the location and other details, the caption said that the galaxy is located in the constellation Ursa Major and is remarkable. It also informed that the researchers used the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy magnetic field data and tools to extrapolate the magnetic field’s strength 20,000 lights-years around the galaxy. This data and tools have been used extensively to study the physics around the Sun.
NASA also compared the appearance of the highways to the Sun's solar wind and said that it can help explain how the gas and dust have travelled so far away from the galaxy.
According to NASA, the Cigar galaxy or M82 was discovered in the year 1774 by the German astronomer Johann Elert Bode along with its neighbour M81. It is the closest starburst galaxy to the Earth with an apparent magnitude of 8.4 and it can be best observed in the month of April.
Messier 82 was earlier believed to be an irregular galaxy but in the year 2005, discovery of two symmetric spiral arms were discovered in near-infrared (NIR) images proving it wrong. The arms were detected by subtracting an axisymmetric exponential disk from the NIR images but they were bluer than the disk.
NASA has a followers’ base of 62. 5 million on the photo and video sharing platform. The post has grabbed the attention of people around the globe with 10.9 lakh likes and around 3,400 comments.
Established in the year 1958 as an independent agency of the U.S. federal government, NASA is responsible for the civilian space program and aeronautics and space research. US space exploration efforts like the Apollo Moon landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle have been led by NASA.