Description: This Great Observatories view of the famous Sombrero galaxy was made using Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer. The main figure shows the combined image from the three telescopes, while the inset images show the separate observatory views. Chandra’s X-ray image (in blue) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of objects within the galaxy and quasars in the background. Hubble’s optical image (green) reveals the bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust, which glows brightly in Spitzer’s infrared view.

Creator/Photographer: Chandra X-ray Observatory

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed. Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Medium: Chandra telescope x-ray

Date: 2007

Persistent URL:

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Collection: Normal Galaxies and Starburst Galaxies Collection

Gift line: X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team

Accession number: sombrero