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Chandra X-ray
Observatory Center
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
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Antennae: A pair of colliding galaxies about 62 million light years from Earth.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI)

Caption: This composite image of the Antennae galaxies contains X-rays from Chandra (blue), optical data from Hubble (gold and brown), and infrared data from Spitzer (red). The X-ray image shows huge clouds of hot, interstellar gas that have been injected with rich deposits of elements from supernova explosions. This enriched gas, which includes elements such as oxygen, iron, magnesium and silicon, will be incorporated into new generations of stars and planets. The bright, point-like sources in the image are produced by material falling onto black holes and neutron stars that are remnants of the massive stars.

Scale: Image is 3.4 arcmin across (about 61,000 light years).

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory