NASA is revealing amazing new images of stars, galaxies and supernova remnants

NASA / CXC / SAO, NASA / STScI, NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSC, ESO / NAOJ / NRAO, NRAO / AUI / NSF, NASA / CXC / SAO / PSU, and NASA / ESA

NASA agency Chandra X-ray Observatory It is a powerful telescope named after the Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Subrahmanian Chandrasekhar. It has a history of making some amazing astronomical discoveries. It provided the first optical image of the remnant of Cassiopeia A. In 2000, high school students used data from the telescope to spot a neutron star in the remains of a supernova. IC 443.

It has now helped produce some impressive images of galaxies, stars, planetary nebulae, and supernova remnants.

At the risk of clarifying the obvious: Space is so brutal.

To illustrate, these images do not necessarily represent what can be seen with the human eye. It was put together using data, not just from Chandra, but from multiple other sources. They are taking what NASA calls a “multiple wavelength” approach, using data across multiple different spectra, from radio waves to gamma rays.

Let’s go through them all.

M 82

M 82

X-ray: NASA / CXC; Optical: NASA / STScI

Not to be confused with the ailing French M83 squad, NASA says M82 is a galaxy “directed at the edge of the Earth.”

Abel 2744

Bell

NASA / CXC; Optical: NASA / STScI

Image combining galaxies using data from the Chandra and Hubble telescopes.

Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A)

Supanova

Radio: ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO), P. Cigan and R. Indebetouw; NRAO / AUI / NSF, B. Saxton; X-ray: NASA / CXC / SAO / PSU / K. Frank et al.; Optical: NASA / STScI

Perhaps the wildest picture in the group. According to NASA, this is an image of one of the “brightest supernova explosions in centuries.”

And Karina

And

NASA / CXC; UV / Optical: NASA / STScI; Collected image: NASA / ESA / N. Smith (University of Arizona), J. Morris (Boldlego Institutes) and A. Bagan

NASA describes ETA Karina as “a volatile system containing two massive stars orbiting in close proximity.”

Cartwheel Galaxy

Wheel archives

X-ray: NASA / CXC; Optical: NASA / STScI

When Fritz Zwicky discovered this galaxy in 1941, he said it was “one of the most complex structures awaiting interpretation on the basis of stellar dynamics.” Its diameter is 150 thousand light years.

The Helix Nebula

snail

X-ray: NASA / CXC; UV: NASA / JPL-Caltech / SSC; Optical: NASA / STScI (M. Meixner) / ESA / NRAO (TA Rector); Infrared: NASA / JPL-Caltech / K. Su

It looks like a giant eyeball, but the Helix Nebula is actually a star that’s running out of fuel. This is clearly what could happen to our sun in 5 billion years.

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