Description: NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the distant galaxy 3C295 shows an explosive galaxy enveloped by a vast cloud of fifty million degree gas. The gas cloud, which is visible only with an X-ray telescope, contains more than a hundred galaxies and enough material to make a thousand more. The galaxies are too cool to be visible in X-rays. Roughly two million light years in diameter, the cloud and its cluster of galaxies are among the most massive objects in the universe. It is so distant that we see it as it was five billion years ago.

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: 1999

Persistent URL: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/1999/0166/

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Gift line: NASA/CXC/SAO

Accession number: 3c295