Description: This image of NGC 4194 is a composite of X-rays from Chandra (blue) and optical light data from Hubble (orange). Located above the center of the galaxy, the "hair" of the Medusa is a tidal tail formed by a collision between galaxies. The bright X-ray source found on the left side of Medusa’s hair is a black hole. A recent study of the Medusa galaxy and nine other galaxies measured the correlation between the formation of stars and the production of X-ray binaries. These X-ray binaries appear as the bright blue point-like sources in this image of Medusa.

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: 2009

Persistent URL: chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2009/medusa/

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Gift line: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Iowa/P.Kaaret et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/Univ of Iowa/P.Kaaret et al.

Accession number: medusa

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