NASA has released new breathtaking images of the universe in stunning detail.
The images have been enhanced using data from the James Webb Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The images show two galaxies, a star cluster and a nebula light years away.
NASA has shared more eye-popping images of the universe.
Four new images, released last week, give a glimpse of two galaxies, a nebula and a star cluster. The images were made possible by data collected from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the James Webb Space Telescope and the Hubble Space Telescope.
“Each image combines Chandra’s X-rays — a form of high-energy light — with infrared data from previously released Webb images, both of which are invisible to the naked eye,” NASA said in a statement accompanying the release.
See each cosmic wonder in stunning detail below.
The colorful star cluster NGC 346 is a city of stars
NGC 346 is a star cluster in a galaxy 200,000 light-years from Earth – the Small Magellanic Cloud, which you can see with the naked eye in some of the darkest skies on Earth.
Star clusters are like huge cities, but for stars. They can consist of hundreds to millions of stars, all of which form in regions of interstellar gas and dust called molecular clouds.
Thanks to the James Webb telescope, you can see this gas and dust as a purple and pink mist that pierces the bright and brilliant stars in the image above.
“The Chandra data also reveal young, hot and massive stars sending powerful winds out from their surfaces,” NASA said.
Finally, you can see a remnant of a supernova in this photo. See it? According to NASA, it’s the purple cloud in the top left of the image.
The beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 1672 shows off its black holes and neutron stars
NGC 1672 is a spiral galaxy about 60 million light-years from Earth.
Astronomers classify it as a “banded” spiral galaxy because of its shape, which includes straight “banded” arms of stars near the center. The arms of other spirals twist more as they approach the core.
In the image, X-ray data from Chandra reveal black holes in the process of slowly decaying companion stars, as well as supernova remnants and neutron stars — extremely dense cores of massive stars that have reached their end.
The enchanting spiral galaxy M74 looks like a work of art
Like the Milky Way galaxy that calls Earth home, Messier 74 (M74) is a spiral galaxy, but it is 32 million light-years away.
M74 is also called the Phantom Galaxy because it is relatively faint – and more difficult to see with small telescopes than some other galaxies.
“Webb outlines gas and dust in the infrared, while Chandra data spotlights high-energy activity of stars at X-ray wavelengths,” NASA said. “Optical Hubble data shows additional stars and dust along the dust lanes.”
The majestic Eagle Nebula M16 looks ghostly
Messier 16 (M16), also called the Eagle Nebula, is about 6,500 light-years away. The image shows the region of the sky called the “Pillars of Creation,” made up of dense clouds of dust and gas seen here, containing young stars.
“The Webb image shows the dark columns of gas and dust enveloping the few remaining young stars just being formed,” NASA said. “The Chandra sources, which look like dots, are young stars that emit large amounts of X-rays.”
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