Archive for January, 2008

M51: New Chandra/Hubble image of the Whirlpool Galaxy

January 25, 2008

Nasa’s big space observatories, Chandra (CXO), GALEX, Hubble (HST), and Spitzer (SST) have been used to obtain a new, gorgeous composite image in multiple parts of the spectrum: The X-ray, UV, optical, and infrared part, respectively.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Wesleyan Univ./R.Kilgard et al; UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/ESA/S. Beckwith & Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ Univ. of AZ/R. Kennicutt

Chandra Press Release:

Spitzer Press Release:

SEDS M51 page:


M49, M84, M89: Chandra Views Galactic Nuclei in X-rays

January 25, 2008

The nuclei of M49, M84, and M89 as seen by Chandra in X-ray light.

Nasa’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has been used to observe the Massive Objects in the Galactic Nuclei of the galaxies M49, M84, M89, and NGC 5846. These investigations provide one of the best pieces of evidence yet that many supermassive central objects in galaxies are spinning extremely rapidly. These images show pairs of huge bubbles, or cavities, in the hot gaseous atmospheres of the galaxies, created in each case by jets produced by a central supermassive object, thought to be black holes by many astronomers. Studying these cavities allows the power output of the jets to be calculated.

The four images released to the press are just a fraction of the total of nine galaxies surveyed in this investigation.

Chandra Press Release:

SEDS page of M49:
SEDS page of M84:
SEDS page of M89: