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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Questions and Answers
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Chandra Images
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Animations & Video: Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies
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Click for high-resolution animation
1. NGC 4636 Animation
QuicktimeMPEG NGC 4636 looks like a normal elliptical galaxy optically (blue image at beginning), but X-ray observations from Chandra (purple) show a galaxy wracked by a titanic explosion 3 million years ago.
[Runtime: 0:25]
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
2. NGC 1637 Time-Lapse Movie
QuicktimeMPEG The animation shows the NOAO optical image of the spiral galaxy NGC 1637, followed by seven individual Chandra X-ray images obtained on days 4 to 633 after the outburst of the supernova (SN 1999em). The bright X-ray source located East of the center of the galaxy is the black hole candidate. Most X-ray sources vary dramatically during the period covered by the Chandra observations. (The apparent variability of the diffuse emission is an artifact caused by the different sensitivities of the individual observations.) Next, the combined X-ray image is overlaid onto the optical image, which finally fades into an expanded central view of NGC 1637 from the Hubble Space Telescope.
[Runtime: 0:58]
View Stills
(NASA/CXC)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Galactic Center (Survey) Animation
QuicktimeMPEG NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has made a stunning, high energy panorama of the central regions of our Milky Way galaxy. Like a sprawling megalopolis, the image reveals hundreds of white dwarf stars, neutron stars and black holes bathed in an incandescent fog of multimillion-degree gas around a supermassive black hole. These images give a new perspective on how the turbulent Galactic Center region affects the evolution of the Galaxy as a whole. In this animation, the Chandra X-ray image is zoomed in, then fades into the same region of the Galactic Center for the VLA radio image (red) followed by the MSX mid-infrared image (green) and finally into the multiwavelength image that combines X-ray (blue), infrared (green) and radio (red).
[Runtime: 0:26]
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart; Images: X-ray: NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., Radio: NRAO/AUI/NSF, Mid-Infrared: MSX)

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Gallery of X-ray and Optical Images of Elliptical Galaxies
QuicktimeMPEG A sample from the new Chandra study shows how the X-ray emission (blue and white) is much different from the optical images, thus revealing unsuspected turmoil in these old, elliptical galaxies. Astronomers believe that massive clouds of hot gas in these galaxies have been stirred up by intermittent explosive activity from centrally located supermassive black holes.
[Runtime: 0:34]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/U. Ohio/T.Statler & S.Diehl; Optical: DSS TRT)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Best of Chandra Images: Galaxies
QuicktimeMPEG Chandra's X-ray, or high-energy, view of galaxies reveals where the action is in these majestic celestial systems. Supermassive black holes in the central regions power explosive activity that can extend far out into the galaxy. Collisions between galaxies trigger bursts of star formation and multiple supernova explosions that produce vast, billowing clouds of hot gas. Normal stars being devoured by black holes or neutron stars are strung like fiery pearls along the spiral arms of galaxies. Swarms of black holes and neutron stars in otherwise sedate elliptical galaxies show that in the past these galaxies had a tempestuous youth. This video presents some of the best Chandra observations of galaxies.
[Runtime: 1:13]
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
6. M82 - Great Observatories (Annotated)
QuicktimeMPEG Images from three of NASA's Great Observatories were combined to create a spectacular, multiwavelength view of the starburst galaxy M82. Chandra's X-ray image reveals gas heated to millions of degrees by the violent outflow, which can be traced back to vigorous star formation in the central regions of the galaxy. The burst of star formation is thought to have been initiated by a close encounter with a large nearby galaxy, M81, about 100 million years ago. The Spitzer Space Telescope infrared image shows a remarkably different picture, one where cool gas and dust are being ejected out of the galaxy's disk. Optical light from stars in the Hubble Space Telescope image shows the disk of the modest-sized, apparently normal galaxy. Another Hubble observation designed to image 10,000 degree Celsius hydrogen gas also reveals matter blasting out of the galaxy.
[Runtime: 0:21]
(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
7. M82 - Great Observatories (Not Annotated)
QuicktimeMPEG Images from three of NASA's Great Observatories were combined to create a spectacular, multiwavelength view of the starburst galaxy M82. Chandra's X-ray image reveals gas heated to millions of degrees by the violent outflow, which can be traced back to vigorous star formation in the central regions of the galaxy. The burst of star formation is thought to have been initiated by a close encounter with a large nearby galaxy, M81, about 100 million years ago. The Spitzer Space Telescope infrared image shows a remarkably different picture, one where cool gas and dust are being ejected out of the galaxy's disk. Optical light from stars in the Hubble Space Telescope image shows the disk of the modest-sized, apparently normal galaxy. Another Hubble observation designed to image 10,000 degree Celsius hydrogen gas also reveals matter blasting out of the galaxy.
[Runtime: 0:21]
(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
8. Sequence of Andromeda Galaxy (M31) Images
QuicktimeMPEG Beginning with a wide-field optical view, this sequence of Andromeda Galaxy images moves into an X-ray look of the central region. In this Chandra image, red represents lower energy, green as medium energy, and finally blue as the highest energy X-rays that Chandra detects. This sequence also shows a composite of X-ray and infrared light, before returning to the Chandra-only view.
[Runtime: 0:14]
(X-ray: NASA/UMass/Z.Li & Q.D.Wang; Optical: NOAO/AURA/NSF/T.A.Rector & B.A.Wolpa; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M31

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Sequence of Chandra Images of Galactic Center & Sgr A*
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence begins with a 400 by 900 light-year mosaic of several Chandra images of the central region of our Galaxy that reveals hundreds of white dwarf stars, neutron stars, and black holes bathed in an incandescent fog of multimillion-degree gas. The mosaic then zooms into a large region around the supermassive black hole at our Galaxy's center, a.k.a. Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*. Marked in this field around Sgr A* are two newly discovered large lobes of multimillion-degree gas that extend for dozens of light years on either side of the black hole. The final Chandra image in this sequence is a close-up of the location of the supermassive black hole Sgr A* and an X-ray jet. This suspected jet is 1.5 light years in length and is due to high-energy particles ejected from the vicinity of the black hole.
[Runtime: 0:22]
(Galactic Center (Survey): NASA/UMass/D.Wang et al., Sgr A* (3-color & close-up): NASA/CXC/MIT/F.K.Baganoff et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
10. NOAO Optical and Chandra X-ray Sequence of M74
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence starts with an optical image of the galaxy M74 (a.k.a. NGC 628), which is about 32 million light years from Earth in the constellation Pisces. The view then adds Chandra's X-ray image and zooms onto one source in the galaxy's spiral arm. Astronomers believe this object, named CXOU J013651.1+154547, is a medium-size black hole, which would bridge the size gap between other known black holes.
[Runtime: 0:22]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/U. of Michigan/J.Liu et al.; Optical: NOAO/AURA/NSF/T.Boroson)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M74

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