Some of the most powerful and menacing spectacles happen in the blackest regions of space. To observe these displays, NASA has a fleet of space telescopes that peer deep into the cosmos. One such telescope is the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The spacecraft detects X-rays emitted from exploded stars, distant galaxies, and hot matter flowing into gigantic black holes. The telescope is so powerful it can read a stop sign from 12 miles away. Some of the X-ray light it has seen dates back to 12 billion years ago, shortly after the formation of the universe. Explore the images for a look at five far-off places revealed with the help of Chandra.
Check out striking images of the cosmos captured from space.
The Flame Nebula’s central cluster of stars would have remained invisible without X-ray observations by Chandra.
In the Sagittarius arm of the Milky Way, Chandra spotted X-rays (blue) emitted by newborn stars.
In the Whirlpool Galaxy, about 30 million light-years from Earth, Chandra spied material falling into multiple black holes.
Stellar winds and supernova explosions produce superheated X-ray gas (blue) that Chandra can detect, seen here in the Tarantula Nebula.
A supermassive black hole devours gas from its host galaxy, releasing X-rays (red) seen by Chandra.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Cover image courtesy of NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale and NASA/JPL-Caltech and NASA/STScI
Flame Nebula image courtesy of NASA/DSS
Whirlpool Galaxy image courtesy of NASA/CXC/Wesleyan Univ./R.Kilgard, et al. and NASA/STScI
Tarantula Nebula image courtesy of NASA/CXC/PSU/L.Townsley et al. and NASA/JPL/PSU/L.Townsley et al.
Milky Way image courtesy of NASA/CXC/Penn State/L.Townsley et al. and ESO/2.2m telescope
Black hole image courtesy of NASA/CXC/MIT/C.Canizares, D.Evans et al. and NASA/STScI and NSF/NRAO/VLA
- Max Gleber (NASA/GSFC) [Lead]