The Antennae: A pair of colliding galaxies about
60 million light years from Earth.
Caption: This montage of Chandra images shows
X-ray views of The Antennae (top), and a closeup of the system's central
region (lower left). These images are color coded to show low (red), medium
(green) and high (blue) energy X-rays produced by huge clouds of gas heated
to millions of degrees by the collision. Massive stars formed in the gas
clouds raced through their evolution in a few million years and exploded
as supernovas. Heavy elements manufactured inside these stars were blown
away by the explosions and enriched the clouds with heavy elements such
as neon, magnesium, silicon and iron. The Chandra image at the lower right
is processed and color-coded to show rich deposits of iron (red), magnesium
(green) and silicon (blue) elements.
Scale: Top: Image is 4.8 arcmin per side; Bottom:
Each panel is 2 arcmin per side
Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Images