Seeing the Universe

You can see what x-ray astronomy adds to the other wavelengths if we take a close-up look at a galaxy known as "Centaurus A."

OPTICAL:
The National Solar Observatory at Kitt Peak
Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy

This is one of the best optical images...

 

In radio light these jets shoot out from the galaxy a distance about 6 diameters of our milky way galaxy!!!

RADIO:
(Very Long Baseline Array)

 

VISIBLE:
(Space Telescope Science Institute-Hubble)

This is what Hubble's powerful eye sees... a dark disk left over from what may have been a collision between an elliptical galaxy and a smaller spiral galaxy...

 

NEAR INFRARED:
(HST: Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer)

Zooming further in, even Hubble's eye gets blocked by all the gas and dust

 

But using infrared light, Hubble can see through the dust to the hot gas researchers think is swirling around a black hole many millions of times more massive than our Sun!

"EINSTEIN" X-RAY OBSERVATORY (1979)

Earlier, the "Einstein" X-ray Observatory had been able to see deep down, to where the energetic jets begin...

 

Now Chandra can resolve still finer details of this active galactic nucleus...

CHANDRA X-RAY OBSERVATORY (1999)

 

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