NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory makes some of the images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope a little more psychedelic.
Newly released images of four images combining Chandra’s data and Webb’s infrared can now show dazzling blue and purple Xrays.
Chandra telescope was launched in 1999. It orbits at 86,500 miles (1139,000 km) above Earth’s surface to observe Xrays from galaxies, exploded stars, and matter swirling around the black hole. It is capable of detecting more energetic phenomena than Webb such as the remnants of supernovas or superhot gases. Chandra is the most powerful X-ray telescope in the world.
By observing at different wavelengths of light, the great space observatories Hubble, Chandra, and Webb can complement each other to give a more clear and more detailed view of the universe. The telescope data can be combined to create enhanced images that show previously unknown celestial features.
Charlie Atkinson (chief engineer, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman), stated that Chandra and Webb “both push beyond what’s believed to be possible.” These remarkable images, taken by both telescopes, complement each other to reveal new details and expand our knowledge of the cosmos.
The collision of a smaller galaxy and the Cartwheel galaxy formed the Cartwheel galaxy. It happened around 100 million years ago. The collision caused star formation around the galaxy’s outer rings to begin. The new Chandra data shows that purple and blue highlights indicate superheated gases, exploded stars, and their remnants (like black holes and neutron stars), that are siphoning material from other stars across the galaxy.
Chandra noticed a shock wave in Stephan’s Quintet. This heats the gas to tens of millions of degrees. It is shown in light blue. The shock wave occurs when one of the galaxies zips by the others at about 2,000,000 miles an hour.
According to NASA, the galaxy cluster SMACS 0723.3-7328 served as Webb’s “deepest and sharpest infrared picture of the distant universe to date.” Superheated gas is also found in galaxy clusters, which can be seen in blue using the new Chandra data. This gas has a mass approximately 100 trillion times that of the sun and is heated to temperatures of tens of millions of degrees.
Chandra also looked into the Carina Nebula, adding highlights of pink to highlight the home of individual X-ray sources. These are stars that are located in a stellar cluster between 1 and 2 million years.
Astronomically, these young stars glow brighter in X-rays than older stars. This helps astronomers to spot them.