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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Chandra Images
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Animations & Video: Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies
Page 123456
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of M31 II
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only For over a decade, astronomers have been using the Chandra X-ray Observatory to monitor the supermassive black hole in the center of Andromeda, the Milky Way's sister galaxy. These observations have revealed that the black hole at the center of Andromeda was very quiet until January 2006, when it underwent a big outburst in X-rays. Since then, it's quieted down again, but it remains about ten times brighter in X-rays now than before 2006. Astronomers will continue to observe this feeble but unpredictable black hole, which is the closest supermassive black hole to us outside of the Milky Way.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/Li et al.), Optical (DSS))

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M31

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of M82 and Mid-mass Black Holes
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only We begin with a composite image of the nearby starburst galaxy M82 that contains X-rays from Chandra in blue, optical data from Hubble in green and orange, and infrared data from Spitzer in red. Next we zoom into the central region of M82, where just Chandra's view is visible. There we see two bright X-ray sources of special interest. Astronomers think these may be medium-sized black holes. These "survivor" black holes seem to have avoided falling into the center of the galaxy. They could also be examples of seeds required for the growth of supermassive black holes in all galaxies, including the one in the Milky Way.
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(Inset: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Tsinghua Univ./H. Feng et al.; Full-field: X-ray: NASA/CXC/JHU/D.Strickland; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/AURA/The Hubble Heritage Team; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of AZ/C. Engelbracht)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M82

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Animation of Merger Trigger for Supernova
QuicktimeMPEG This animation shows the main way that new Chandra results indicate Type Ia supernova are triggered in elliptical galaxies. Two white dwarf stars orbit each other and lose energy via gravitational radiation, eventually resulting in a merger between the two stars. Because the total mass of this merger exceeds the weight limit for a white dwarf, the merged star is unstable and explodes as a Type Ia supernova.
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View Stills
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M31

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Great Observatory Views of Sombrero Galaxy
QuicktimeMPEG This is a Great Observatory view of the famous Sombrero galaxy using the Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. The first image shows the composite version, followed by the three separate observatory views. The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows hot gas in the galaxy and point sources that are a mixture of galaxy members and background objects. The Hubble optical image (green) shows a bulge of starlight partially blocked by a rim of dust. The Spitzer image (red) shows the rim of dust glowing in the infrared and a central bulge of stars.
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(X-ray: NASA/UMass/Q.D.Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/AURA/Hubble Heritage; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. AZ/R.Kennicutt/SINGS Team)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of M31
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image of M31 represents a study of six elliptical galaxies that Chandra made to determine what causes an important type of supernova. At the heart of M31, also known as the Andromeda Galaxy, Chandra detects X-rays. The X-ray glow is partially caused by the aftermath of exploded stars known as supernovas. By examining the properties of the X-rays, scientists have figured out that one class of supernovas in these galaxies, known as Type Ia, are caused when two white dwarf stars merge. Understanding how Type Ia supernovas are triggered is important, since these objects are used to measure vast distances across the cosmos.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MPA/M.Gilfanov & A.Bogdan), Infrared (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC), Optical (DSS))

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M31

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Tour of Multiwavelength Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This never-before-seen view of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way combines a near-infrared view from Hubble, an infrared image from Spitzer, and X-ray data from Chandra. The composite image features the spectacle of galactic evolution: from vibrant regions of star birth to young and old stellar populations and even to the eerie remains of stellar death called black holes. All of this occurs against a fiery backdrop in the crowded, hostile environment of the galaxy's core, the center of which is ruled by a supermassive black hole. A diffuse haze of X-ray light from hot gas permeates the entire field. This gas has been heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole as well as by winds from massive stars and stellar explosions.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/D.Wang et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC/S.Stolovy)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Tour of NGC 6240
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only NGC 6240 is a system in which two supermassive black holes are a mere 3,000 light years apart, virtually nothing in astronomical terms. These black holes -- the two bright point-like sources in the middle -- are in such close proximity, scientists think they are in the act of spiraling toward each other. This is a process that began about 30 million years ago. It's estimated that the two black holes will eventually drift together and merge into a larger black hole some tens to hundreds of millions of years from now.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, M.Nowak); Optical (NASA/STScI))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Tour of Galactic Center
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals a wealth of exotic objects and high-energy features at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. In this new and deep image from Chandra, red represents lower-energy X-rays, green shows the medium range, and blue indicates the higher-energy X-rays Chandra can detect. The hundreds of small dots show emission from material around black holes and other dense stellar objects like neutron stars. A supermassive black hole -- some four million times more massive than the Sun -- resides within the bright region to the right of center. The diffuse X-ray light comes from gas heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole, winds from giant stars, and stellar explosions.
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(Credit: NASA/CXC/UMass/D. Wang et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of Galactic Ridge
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This sequence begins with an infrared view from the Spitzer Space Telescope of the central region of the Milky Way. We then zoom into a region about 1.4 degrees away from the center of the galaxy where the Chandra X-ray Observatory focused its attention for about twelve days' worth of time. This region is known as the Galactic Ridge, because earlier X-ray observatories found a structure of diffuse emission stretching across the plane of the galaxy. The new long Chandra observation shows that this X-ray haze is actually composed of thousands of individual sources, like stars and binary systems.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/TUM/M.Revnivtsev et al.); IR (NASA/JPL-Caltech/GLIMPSE Team))

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of NGC 604
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only NGC 604 is a divided neighborhood in the galaxy M33, where some 200 hot, young massive stars reside. In this composite image, X-ray data from Chandra are blue, while optical light data from Hubble are seen as red, green and yellow. Bubbles in the cooler gas and dust seen by Hubble have been generated by powerful stellar winds, which are then filled with hot, X-ray-emitting gas. Scientists find the amount of hot gas detected in the bubbles on the right side corresponds to the amount entirely powered by the winds from the 200 massive stars. The situation is different on the left side, where the amount of X-ray gas cannot explain the brightness of the X-ray emission. The bubbles on the left side appear to be much older and were likely created and powered by young stars and supernovas in the past.
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(NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Tuellmann et al.; Optical: NASA/AURA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Page 123456