NASA strikes data from several telescopes

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The most beautiful images of the cosmos are the result of the union of data from more than one telescope. One of them, the Chandra X-ray observatory, shows details hidden from the visible light spectrum. Check out the images released now by NASA.

Visions of the universe in one

M82

Also called Messier 82, this galaxy seen by Chandra (in blue and pink) reveals jets of gases 20,000 light-years long and 10 million degrees. This image was composed with the optical light data from the Hubble space telescope (in red and orange).

Abell 2744 galaxy clusters

It is the largest body in the universe held together by gravity. Also formed by data collected by Hubble and Chandra, the image shows huge amounts of superheated gas to tens of millions of degrees, glowing under X-ray light (diffuse blue; Hubble’s optical light appears in red, green and blue).

Supernova 1987A

One of the most brilliant explosions ever seen in the last few centuries, it appears here through the eyes of Chandra (in blue), showing the shock wave of the supernova when it meets the surrounding material, 4 light years from where the star exploded (in orange and red, seen by Hubble).

Eta Carinae

This binary system with massive stars is also a candidate for hosting the next supernova in the Milky Way. The image joins optical data (white) and ultraviolet (cyan) from Hubble and X-rays from Chandra (purple).

Cartwheel Galaxy

The violent encounter with a smaller galaxy produced shock waves that swept across the galaxy, triggering massive star formation. The Chandra image (purple) shows hot gas from the Cartwheel galaxy being released over 150,000 light-years from the collision, while the Hubble image (red, green and blue) indicates where the shock gave rise to new stars.

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Helix Nebula

In 5 billion years, the Sun will run out of fuel, swell and its core will shrink, as in the Helix Nebula. The infrared data from the Spitzer space telescope (green and red) joined the optical light from Hubble (orange and blue), ultraviolet from the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (cyan) and X-rays from Chandra (white) to show the white dwarf star that formed in the center of the nebula.


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