Posts Tagged ‘x-ray’

Butterfly of Combined Light

X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Mich./S.Oey, IR: NASA/JPL, Optical: ESO/WFI/2.2-m

When NASA combines images from different telescopes they create amazing works of art and we learn a few things.

Explore this butterfly of combined light, known as NGC 1929, from NASA‘s Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes and ESO‘s ground-based telescope in Chile. What shapes or stories do you see? Leave a note in the comments below.

Star cluster NGC 1929 contains some of the most massive stars known to scientists. These massive stars spew intense radiation and a blistering stellar wind that blow huge bubbles in the surrounding nebula. The massive stars also end their short lives exploding as supernova which further helps carve out cavities in this region. Officially, the entire nebula is known as LHA 120-N 44, or just N 44. The vast superbubble is 325 by 250 light-years across; almost a hundred times the distance between the Sun and the nearest star. As you explore the image, look for dozens of smaller bubbles and the faint rim of another huge bubble on the left side of the nebula. Along the edges of the superbubble, new stars are forming

As beautiful as this destructive scene is, we wouldn’t be able to see it quite like this with our own eyes. Astronomers combined the light of several telescopes; all observing N44 in different wavelengths of light. X-rays from Chandra, in blue, reveal areas created by winds and shocks. Infrared data from Spitzer, in red, show where dust and cooler gas reside. Optical light from ESO’s telescope in Chile, light we can see with our eyes, outlines where ultraviolet radiation from the stars causes the gas to glow.

N 44 and NGC 1929 are found about 160,000 light-years from Earth in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf, irregular companion galaxy to our Milky Way Galaxy.

Send as an ECard

The stars in watercolor

Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/CfA/F.Massaro, et al.); Optical (NASA/STScI/C.P.O’Dea); Radio (NSF/VLA/CfA/F.Massaro, et al.)

Unusual and intriguing shapes float out of this combined starry image from NASA‘s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Explore the reds, oranges, blues and green of this watercolor-like image. What shapes or stories do you see? Leave a note below.

A supermassive black hole at the center of this galaxy, known as 3C305, gives us the shapes and colors we see in this image. Red colors in this image come from X-rays picked up by Chandra. Light blue in the image is visible light observations from the Hubble Space Telescope. Astronomers use different filters to see different kinds of light and elements in the space images. Light blue in this image is from glowing oxygen gas within the galaxy and jets so we’re not seeing the entire galaxy which contains billions of stars. Other colors in the image are from radio observatory observations.

Using a combination of information from many different telescope sources allows astronomers to get a better idea of what is happening within the galaxy. Galaxy 3C305 is found about 600 million light years from Earth toward the constellation Draco, the dragon. It is considered an active galaxy, or a quasar. Radio and X-rays coming from these objects are much stronger than other types of galaxies.

Send as an ECard

Cosmic Puffball

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/K.Eriksen et al.; Optical: DSS

A cosmic puffball seems to float in this image of the Tycho Supernova Remnant from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

You won’t need 3-D glasses to explore this deep image. Cotton-like clouds of dust and gas can be seen in the expanding bubble from the blast. Look closer in the right side of the bubble and you can see what excites scientists most about this image; stripes in the X-ray image. The brightest stripes can even be seen in visible images. Astronomers have never seen features like this within the remains of an exploded star. They believe the stripes help explain how cosmic rays are created.

Cosmic rays are energetic particles made up of electrons, neutrons and atomic nuclei. Traveling at nearly the speed of light, they originate from space. But their ultimate source is unknown. Astronomers believe that supernovae remnants are one source of cosmic rays.

The stripes in the image provide support for theories about how magnetic fields can be amplified in the supernova blast waves. Electrons trapped in turbulent areas of the expanding bubble surrounding the supernova emit X-rays as they spiral within the magnetic fields. These regions of turbulence and magnetic fields were expected. Scientists predicted that most of the energetic particles would leave a messy network of holes and walls. The orderly stripes surprised scientists.

The Tycho Supernova Remnant is located inside our Milky Way Galaxy about 13,000 light-years from Earth toward the constellation Cassiopeia, the Queen. Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe first reported seeing the supernova in 1572. It was so bright that it could easily be seen during the daytime with the naked eye.

Spinning Lights

Credit: NASA & ESA

We need some bright lights for the holidays. The colors in this image of the Cartwheel Galaxy fits perfectly.

This image combines data from four different orbiting observatories; the Chandra X-ray Observatory, in purple, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite, in blue, the Hubble Space Telescope, in green, and the Spitzer Space Telescope, in red. Astronomers use different satellites to see in different kinds of light. Spitzer’s telescope helps us see objects that are warm while Chandra and GALEX help us see areas with high energy, like black holes and exploded stars.

The Cartwheel Galaxy’s odd shape probably comes from a collision with one of its smaller neighbors millions of years ago. The smaller galaxy’s interaction caused the gas in the main galaxy to squeeze together, or compress, as it plunged through the larger galaxy. This sparked a wave of new star formation, creating millions of new stars. Some of these stars became super massive, exploding as supernovas. We can see their remnants in the image as bright white spots along the outer rim of the galaxy.

The Cartwheel Galaxy is slightly larger than our Milky Way. It lies about 400 million light years away toward the faint southern constellation of Sculptor.

Spinning Lights

Credit: NASA & ESA

We need some bright lights for the holidays. The colors in this image of the Cartwheel Galaxy fits perfectly.

This image combines data from four different orbiting observatories; the Chandra X-ray Observatory, in purple, the Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite, in blue, the Hubble Space Telescope, in green, and the Spitzer Space Telescope, in red. Astronomers use different satellites to see in different kinds of light. Spitzer’s telescope helps us see objects that are warm while Chandra and GALEX help us see areas with high energy, like black holes and exploded stars.

The Cartwheel Galaxy’s odd shape probably comes from a collision with one of its smaller neighbors millions of years ago. The smaller galaxy’s interaction caused the gas in the main galaxy to squeeze together, or compress, as it plunged through the larger galaxy. This sparked a wave of new star formation, creating millions of new stars. Some of these stars became super massive, exploding as supernovas. We can see their remnants in the image as bright white spots along the outer rim of the galaxy.

The Cartwheel Galaxy is slightly larger than our Milky Way. It lies about 400 million light years away toward the faint southern constellation of Sculptor.

Welcome

The ancient peoples saw pictures in the sky. From those patterns in the heavens, ancient storytellers created legends about heroes, maidens, dragons, bears, centaurs, dogs and mythical creatures...
Read More

Latest Comments


Warning: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, function 'print_my_script' not found or invalid function name in /home/starrycritters/public_html/site/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 286

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/starrycritters/public_html/site/wp-content/plugins/gantry/core/gantrygzipper.class.php on line 153