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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Questions and Answers
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Chandra Images
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Animations & Video: Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies
Page 123456
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of NGC 6240
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only NGC 6240 is a system in which two supermassive black holes are a mere 3,000 light years apart, virtually nothing in astronomical terms. These black holes -- the two bright point-like sources in the middle -- are in such close proximity, scientists think they are in the act of spiraling toward each other. This is a process that began about 30 million years ago. It's estimated that the two black holes will eventually drift together and merge into a larger black hole some tens to hundreds of millions of years from now.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, M.Nowak); Optical (NASA/STScI))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals a wealth of exotic objects and high-energy features at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. In this new and deep image from Chandra, red represents lower-energy X-rays, green shows the medium range, and blue indicates the higher-energy X-rays Chandra can detect. The hundreds of small dots show emission from material around black holes and other dense stellar objects like neutron stars. A supermassive black hole -- some four million times more massive than the Sun -- resides within the bright region to the right of center. The diffuse X-ray light comes from gas heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole, winds from giant stars, and stellar explosions.
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(Credit: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Tour of Galactic Ridge
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This sequence begins with an infrared view from the Spitzer Space Telescope of the central region of the Milky Way. We then zoom into a region about 1.4 degrees away from the center of the galaxy where the Chandra X-ray Observatory focused its attention for about twelve days' worth of time. This region is known as the Galactic Ridge, because earlier X-ray observatories found a structure of diffuse emission stretching across the plane of the galaxy. The new long Chandra observation shows that this X-ray haze is actually composed of thousands of individual sources, like stars and binary systems.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/TUM/M.Revnivtsev et al.); IR (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GLIMPSE Team))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Tour of NGC 604
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only NGC 604 is a divided neighborhood in the galaxy M33, where some 200 hot, young massive stars reside. In this composite image, X-ray data from Chandra are blue, while optical light data from Hubble are seen as red, green and yellow. Bubbles in the cooler gas and dust seen by Hubble have been generated by powerful stellar winds, which are then filled with hot, X-ray-emitting gas. Scientists find the amount of hot gas detected in the bubbles on the right side corresponds to the amount entirely powered by the winds from the 200 massive stars. The situation is different on the left side, where the amount of X-ray gas cannot explain the brightness of the X-ray emission. The bubbles on the left side appear to be much older and were likely created and powered by young stars and supernovas in the past.
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(NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Tuellmann et al.; Optical: NASA/AURA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of M101
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image of the spiral galaxy Messier 101 is a composite of observations from NASA's three Great Observatories: the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Chandra's view in X-ray light is seen as blue and reveals multi-million-degree gas, exploded stars, and material colliding around black holes. In red, Spitzer's view in infrared light highlights the heat emitted by dust lanes in the galaxy where stars can form. The yellow shows Hubble's data in visible light. Most of this light also comes from stars, and they trace the same spiral structure as the dust lanes. Such multi-wavelength images allow astronomers to see how features in one wavelength match up with those in another, and give everyone a more complete picture of this beautiful galaxy.
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(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/JHU/K.Kuntz et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/JHU/K. Kuntz et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/K. Gordon)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Tour of M84
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only M84 is a massive elliptical galaxy located about 55 million light years from Earth in the Virgo Cluster. This composite image is made from X-rays from Chandra, which are colored blue, and radio emission from the Very Large Array that is seen as red. The interesting thing about this image is that astronomers can trace a number of bubbles generated by particles moving at nearly the speed of light. These particles are propelled by the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy in the form of a two-sided jet. By studying objects like M84, astronomers hope to better understand how black holes influence the environments that surround them.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MPE/A.Finoguenov et al.); Radio (NSF/NRAO/VLA/ESO/R.A.Laing et al); Optical (SDSS))

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M84

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Tour of M81
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image of the mammoth spiral galaxy M81, located about 12 million light years away, contains data from four different NASA satellites. First we see infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope, followed by optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope. The Galex Satellite shows us what M81 looks like in ultraviolet emission. And finally, x-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals what is going on at higher energies. At the center of M81, there is a supermassive black hole that is about 70 million times more massive than the sun. A new study involving Chandra and other telescopes helps astronomers better understand how this black hole is growing.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Wisconsin/D.Pooley & CfA/A.Zezas; Optical: NASA/ESA/CfA/A.Zezas; UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J.Huchra et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M81

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Tour of NGC 4258
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only The galaxy NGC 4258 has its arms crossed. At least it appears that it does. A composite image of NGC 4258, about 25 million light-years from Earth, shows an X-shaped pattern when seen in different types of light. Infrared radiation from the Spitzer Space Telescope and optical light data from the Digitized Sky Survey show one set of arms, which are made from stars and dust from the galaxy. However, x-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory and radio emission from the Very Large Array reveal a different pair of arms. These dislocated arms are the result of shockwaves, generated by the giant black hole in the center of NGC 4258.
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(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Maryland/A.S. Wilson et al.; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; VLA: NRAO/AUI/NSF)

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Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of M51
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Hubble's image of M51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, shows the majestic spiral arms that are actually long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust. The infrared image from Spitzer also reveals stars and the glow from clouds of interstellar dust. The dust consists mainly of a variety of carbon-based organic molecules. An image from the GALEX mission gives the view of M51 in ultraviolet light. Chandra detects a large number of point-like X-ray sources due to black holes and neutron stars in binary star systems. When combined, all of these observatories paint a more complete picture of the famous galaxy.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/Wesleyan Univ./R. Kilgard); UV (NASA/JPL-Caltech); Optical (NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith & The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)); IR (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona/R. Kennicutt))

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Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of M82
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only When seen in visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope, M82 looks like an ordinary spiral galaxy. However, looking at it through the Spitzer Space Telescope in infrared radiation, we see a startlingly different picture with material being blasted from the galaxy's disk. X-ray data from Chandra reveal scorching gas that has been heated to millions of degrees by this violent outburst. The composite image of all of these different data reveals the true nature of this galaxy.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/JHU/D.Strickland; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA/The Hubble Heritage Team; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of AZ/C. Engelbracht)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M82

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