A Spectacular Image to Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy: A face-on spiral galaxy about 22 million light years from Earth.

A Spectacular Image to Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy: A face-on spiral galaxy about 22 million light years from Earth.

Description: This image of M101 is a composite of data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope, and Hubble Space Telescope. Sources of X-rays detected by Chandra (colored blue) include million-degree gas, the debris from exploded stars, and material zooming around black holes and neutron stars. Spitzer’s view in infrared light (red) highlights the heat emitted by dust lanes in the galaxy where stars can form. Finally, most of the visible light data from Hubble (yellow) come from stars that trace the same spiral structure as the dust lanes.

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/m101/

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Gift line: X-ray: NASA/CXC/JHU/K.Kuntz et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/JHU/K. Kuntz et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/K. Gordon

Accession number: m101_br_comp

11 thoughts on “A Spectacular Image to Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy: A face-on spiral galaxy about 22 million light years from Earth.

  1. Smithsonian Institution
    Smithsonian Institution says:

    To learn more about Chandra X-ray Observatory images, visit:

    blog.photography.si.edu/2009/05/11/seeing-the-invisible/
    blog.photography.si.edu/2009/06/01/seeing-the-invisible-p…

  2. akm_2_go

    Wonderful! THIS is how I like to see my tax dollars spent, not killing people, but furthering our understanding of life, the universe, and everything.

  3. hiroy71

    Meravigliosa.

  4. fjschloesser
    fjschloesser says:

    ich Schwachkopf bekomm diese Vielfalt von Millionen Sonnen nicht unter meine Mütze. Da sage mir einer, das war schon immer so ! ?
    Ich bin glücklich, dass ich jedem Tag, den Gott geschaffen hat, unserem Schöpfer danken kann, dass es mich gibt und dass ich solche Wunder
    auch täglich am Wegesrand erleben kann, oder in unserer Wildnis in Belgien wie der STERN auf 2 Fotoseiten berichtete http://www.frajo.de.tl *fin*

  5. giljacobus

    Interessante é a forma irregular da espiral, considerando a velocidade homogênia do disco, suponho, claro………..o que temos que ainda descobrir nesta área………saberemos daqui a 500 anos?

  6. acastila

    what a small blue world we live in

  7. Luis R.

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called worth to see!, and we’d love to have this added to the group!


    Seen in someone’s favorites. (?)

  8. duiceburger
    duiceburger says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called NASA – Public Domain, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  9. flickerbug.01
    flickerbug.01 says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called flickeradmirer, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

    Fascinating, Awesome.. Hard to describe when the universe is presented, I don’t want to let it go. I want to save it for forever.

  10. alxflickrrr
    alxflickrrr says:

    Interesting picture!

  11. mpenny71

    Amazing

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