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.

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