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Animations: An Expanse of Light
Tour: An Expanse of Light
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)
[Runtime: 02:03]

With closed-captions (at YouTube)

The recent launches of the James Webb Space Telescope and the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, or "IXPE," by NASA and its international partners are excellent reminders that the universe emits light or energy in many different forms. To fully investigate cosmic objects and phenomena, scientists need telescopes that can detect light across what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum.

This gallery provides examples of the ways that different types of light from telescopes on the ground and in space can be combined. The common thread in each of these selections is data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, illustrating how X-rays — which are emitted by very hot and energetic processes — are found throughout the universe.

The collection contains objects ranging from a supernova remnant within our Galaxy to an enormous galaxy cluster millions of light years away. Each image contains X-rays from Chandra in combination with data from other telescopes that capture different types of light. The objects are the binary system R Aquarii, the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, the "Guitar Nebula" and its pulsar, the galaxy cluster Abell 2597, and the NGC 4490 galaxy.

In the coming weeks and months, we will hear much more about JWST and IXPE. It will be exciting to see what discoveries they make when their data are joined those other telescopes, including Chandra, in exploring our Universe.

Quick Look: An Expanse of Light
(Credit: NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)
[Runtime: 0:45]

A new collection of "multiwavelength" images has been released.

Each image contains X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

These images show how different objects give off X-rays and other kinds of light.

By combining different datasets together, astronomers learn more about the Universe.

Return to An Expanse of Light (February 2, 2022)