Composite infrared image of the central portion of galaxy M82, from SOFIA’s First Light flight, at wavelengths of 20 (blue), 32 (green) and 37 microns (red). The middle inset image shows the same portion of the galaxy at visual wavelengths. The infrared image views past the stars and dust clouds apparent in the visible-wavelength image into the star-forming heart of the galaxy. The long dimension of the inset boxes is about 5400 light years. Details of the infrared image processing are the same described in the caption for the Jupiter monochromatic images displayed above except that no spatial filter was applied to the M82 image.
Infrared image: NASA/SOFIA/USRA/FORCAST Team/Bill Vacca; Visual image: N. A. Sharp/ NOAO/AURA/NSF