“A new composite of M101 (aka, the “Pinwheel Galaxy”) contains data from four of NASA’s telescopes in space. X-rays from Chandra (purple) show the hottest and most energetic areas of this spiral galaxy. Infrared data from Spitzer (red) and optical emission from Hubble (yellow) trace the dust and starlight respectively. Ultraviolet light from GALEX (blue) shows the output from young stars.
Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; IR & UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI
Release Date May 24, 2012
The Electromagnetic Spectrum. Wavelengths and energies from gamma rays to radio.
This image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, or also known as M101, combines data in the infrared, visible, ultraviolet and X-rays from four of NASA’s space-based telescopes. This multi-spectral view shows that both young and old stars are evenly distributed along M101’s tightly-wound spiral arms. Such composite images allow astronomers to see how features in one part of the spectrum match up with those seen in other parts. It is like seeing with a regular camera, an ultraviolet camera, night-vision goggles and X-ray vision, all at the same time.
The Pinwheel Galaxy is in the constellation of Ursa Major (also known as the Big Dipper). It is about 70% larger than our own Milky Way Galaxy, with a diameter of about 170,000 light years, and sits at a distance of 21 million light years from Earth. This means that the light we’re seeing in this image left the Pinwheel Galaxy about 21 million years ago – many millions of years before humans ever walked the Earth.
The hottest and most energetic areas in this composite image are shown in purple, where the Chandra X-ray Observatory observed the X-ray emission from exploded stars, million-degree gas, and material colliding around black holes.”
See the full article here.
Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers