Sep 13, 2010

Invisible Universe Now Visible

While NASA's Hubble is one of the largest and most well-known space telescope for astronomy, there are actually four large, powerful space-based telescope that fall under NASA's series of Great Observatories - Hubble, the now deorbited Compton Gamma Ray Observator (CGRO), Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) and Spitzer Space Telescope (SST). Each serves a particular function (Hubble - visible light and near-ultraviolet, CGRO - gamma rays, hard x-rays, CXO - soft x-rays, and SST - infrared spectrum), examining a specific region of the electromagnetic spectrum. These photos, many of them composite images from multiple space telescopes, give us a new way to appreciate our incredible universe. For more great pictures, click here check out the gallery on MyModernMet.

Remnants of an Exploded Star
A star's spectacular death in the constellation Taurus was observed on Earth as the supernova of 1054 A.D. Now, almost a thousand years later, a super dense object -- called a neutron star -- left behind by the explosion is seen spewing out a blizzard of high-energy particles into the expanding debris field known as the Crab Nebula. (Photo release date: November 23, 2009.)

Heart of the Milky Way
In this spectacular image, observations using infrared light and X-ray light see through the obscuring dust and reveal the intense activity near the galactic core. In this image, X-rays from Chandra are blue and violet, near-infrared emission from Hubble is yellow, and Spitzer's infrared data are red. (Photo release date: November 10, 2009.)

Supermassive Black Hole in a Nearby Galaxy
This is a composite image of NGC 1068, one of the nearest and brightest galaxies containing a rapidly growing supermassive black hole. X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory are shown in red, optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope in green and radio data from the Very Large Array in blue. (Photo release date: March 3, 2010.)

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