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Chandra X-ray Image
of NGC 2841
(Credit: NASA/CXC/U. Mass/Q.D. Wang)

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NGC 2841:
Galactic Chimneys Turn Up the Heat

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/U. Mass/Q.D.Wang; Optical: NOAO/KPNO

This X-ray/optical composite image of the large spiral galaxy NGC 2841 shows multimillion degree gas (blue/X-ray) rising above the disk of stars and cooler gas (gray/optical).

The rapid outflows of gas from giant stars, and supernova explosions in the disk of a galaxy create huge shells or bubbles of hot gas that expand rapidly and rise above the disk like plumes of smoke from a chimney. Chandra's image of NGC 2841 provides direct evidence for this process, which pumps energy into the thin gaseous halo that surrounds the galaxy. Galactic chimneys also spread hot, metal enriched gas away from the disk of the galaxy into the halo.

Fast Facts for NGC 2841:
Credit  X-ray: NASA/CXC/U. Mass/Q.D.Wang; Optical: NOAO/KPNO
Scale  Image is 5.75 arcmin across
Category  Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 09h 22m 02.60s | Dec +50º 58' 35.50"
Constellation  Ursa Major
Observation Date  December 18, 2004
Observation Time  8 hours
Obs. ID  6096
Color Code  X-ray: Blue, Optical: Gray/White
Instrument  ACIS
Distance Estimate  About 50 million light years
Release Date  March 06, 2006