NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, named after Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, has released some iconic cosmic images of galaxies, stars, planetary nebulas and supernova remnants. Over the years, the telescope has been made some incredible astronomical discoveries, including the first light image of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A.
Out of newly released images, one belongs to ‘M82’ or Messier 82. According to NASA, it is a galaxy that is “oriented edge-on to Earth” and shows the burst of star formations. Another image captures the galaxy cluster ‘Abell 2744’. This image of the Abell 2744 galaxy cluster combines X-rays from Chandra with optical light data from Hubble.
In another discovery, there is ‘Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A)’. On February 24, 1987, observers in the southern hemisphere saw a new object in a nearby galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud. This was one of the brightest supernova explosions in centuries and soon became known as Supernova 1987A (SN 87A). The Chandra data (blue) show the location of the supernova’s shock wave — similar to the sonic boom from a supersonic plane — interacting with the surrounding material about four light-years from the original explosion point.
Telescopes around the globe and a fleet of observatories in space lend humans an ‘eye’ that can detect all different types of light. From radio waves to gamma rays, this “multiwavelength” approach to astronomy is crucial to getting a complete understanding of objects in space. Similarly, these images give a glimpse of different missions at different times.
In a separate development, a few days back, NASA posted the breathtaking picture of this newfound and bizarre-looking galaxy on its official website. The splendid picture was captured by the Hubble space telescope. The telescope is one of the space agency’s most cherished and fruitful creations since it was first established in 1958.
NASA, Star, Galaxy, Chandra X-ray Observatory
World news – GB – NASA releases iconic images of far-flung stars, galaxies and supernova explosion – Republic World