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This is what the Pinwheel Galaxy looks like in three different wavelengths

This is what the Pinwheel Galaxy looks like in three different wavelengths

06.04.2022, 15:5006/04/2022, 16:22

101 Or NGC 5457 is what astronomers call a galaxy located 21 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. But the spiral galaxy, which is slightly larger than the Milky Way and has a diameter of about 170 thousand light-years, is also known by the asymmetric name “fire wheel galaxy”.

This beautiful example of a galaxy was photographed in 2009 with three different telescopes: ChandraAnd the sharpaner And the Hubble. The special thing about these recordings is that they were captured in three different wavebands: in the X-ray (Chandra), in the infrared (Spitzer) and in the visible (Hubble). For astronomers, images in the invisible range are very important because they provide additional information.

Chandra telescope (X-ray)

X-rays are a type of high-energy light, invisible to the eye and much more energetic than visible or ultraviolet light. The Chandra telescope has four parabolic mirrors that transmit X-rays emitted from objects such as black holes or neutron stars to spectrometers. The white points in the image are X-ray sources, such as the remnants of exploding stars or collapsing gas clouds. Pink and blue clouds are very hot gaseous clouds and clusters of massive stars.

Spitzer telescope (infrared)

Infrared (IR) radiation – also known as thermal radiation – is part of the electromagnetic spectrum and follows visible light in the direction of longer wavelengths. Astronomers use it because it penetrates interstellar dust better and makes things hidden behind it, such as young stars or the center of a galaxy, visible. This Spitzer Telescope image shows dark clouds of dust (green-yellow here) in which new stars are forming. The dust that heats it is colored red, while hundreds of billions of other stars in the galaxy are less visible, and collectively they form a blue glow.

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Hubble telescope (visible area)

This Hubble Telescope image shows the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Here, the blue clouds are the areas where new stars are forming, while the yellowish core is mostly from old stars. Dark brown dust bands are areas of cold and dense interstellar clouds. When these new stars collapse they can form.


This image consists of three images above superimposed here – what a great view! Hashima Hassan, Principal Investigator of the International Year of astronomy (2009) at NASA Headquarters in Washington, described it this way: “It’s like using your eyes, night vision goggles, and X-ray vision at the same time.”

Bonus: GALEX (Ultraviolet)

Ultraviolet radiation is largely absorbed by the atmosphere, so astronomical observations at these wavelengths are not possible from Earth. The space telescope has been in orbit since 2003 Galaxy It is used to observe galaxies in the ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Among other things, it is particularly suitable for examining hot stars that radiate intensely in this region. (in another meaning)

The 13 most beautiful space images 2021


The 13 most beautiful space images 2021

Source: NASA

Colliding galaxies: the Milky Way and Andromeda


Colliding galaxies: the Milky Way and Andromeda

Source: NASA

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