Star Wars Like You Have Never Seen Them Before

This image shows the power of image post-processing. It also shows that we are a tiny speck of nothingness in the middle of a fiery cosmic fluff. Here's the famous M51 galaxy, like you have never seen it before.

Click on the image to see it in high definition.

Scientists have digitally reprocessed data from the Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys to show NGC 5194 - the 51st object in Charles Messier's catalogue - which is considered "the original spiral nebula". According to NASA, "the processing has further sharpened details and enhanced colour and contrast in otherwise faint areas, bringing out dust lanes and extended streams that cross the small companion, along with features in the surroundings and core of M51 itself." The results are amazing, and the battle between 60,000-light-year-wide NGC 5194 and its companion NGC 5195 have never been so crisp and beautiful before. [NASA]

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