- NASA just dropped images of objects in the universe taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, their flagship mission for X-ray astronomy.
- It aims to take photographs of various subjects in space using a multi-wavelength approach to show the objects in their full structure.
- The data from Chandra is coupled with data and photographs from other entities such as Hubble and Spitzer Telescope to come up with the stunning final images.
When we think of the universe, most of us imagine the black expanse of space dotted by distant stars and galaxies, black holes and other space stuff.
But what if the actual image of the universe is something close to what we’ve seen in sci-fi flicks just like in Avengers: Endgame?
The Universe according to Avengers: Endgame
And well, reality is not to be upped by fiction as NASA just dropped images of the universe that are literally and figuratively out of this world! The breathtaking images you will see below are processed data of the multi-wavelength X-ray photography taken by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The Chandra X-ray Observatory has been collecting data since 1999. Basically, it collects x-ray images of various objects in space filtered along the electromagnetic spectrum. Then all the multiple data is combined to see the actual image of the object. The project also made use of data from other NASA telescopes such as Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescope and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer.
And now, let’s feast our eyes for the true marvel that is our universe:
Messier 82 or M82
M82 is a young galaxy that is just forming. The orange bursts in the image denote the multiple explosions happening as new stars are born and formed in this galaxy.
Discovered way back February 24, 1987, the Supernova 1987A remains one of the brightest supernova visible to astronomers on earth.
This image of the Eta Carinae really looks fake, you say? Well this image is actually real and this 2-star system is notorious for its volatility. Astronomers are projecting a next supernova explosion can be Eta Carinae, when the 2 massive stars orbiting each other finally explode.
Abell 2744 Galaxy Clusters
Yep, each one of the specks in this image is not one star, or one solar system. Instead, each disk and speck in the Abell 2744 image is one galaxy that contains tens of thousands to millions of stars (think of our Milky Way galaxy).
The Cartwheel galaxy or also called Bull’s Eye galaxy is named such because it looked like a bull’s eye with a swirling galaxy in the center, with stray stars in the perimeter. This unique formation happened when a smaller galaxy collided and passed through the center of Cartwheel galaxy, resulting to massive release of energy and hot gas that prompted formation of the stars in its “ring”.
Perhaps easily the most eye-catching of the bunch as some might feel it resembles the dreaded Eye of Sauron (Lord of the Rings). But this is actually the Helix Nebula. Basically it is a depiction of what happens when a star starts to die and lose fuel. The outer layers of the star expands and seem to slough off, while the star mass itself shrinks.
And there you have it, folks: some of the breathtaking photos of our universe! Doesn’t it feel as if we’ve unveiled the mysteries of the universe a teeny bit more by knowing how some things in it really look like?
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