Astronomers 'Flip' Over Cartwheel Galaxy (NASA, Chandra, 1/6/06)

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    Editor's Note: An archived image from 2006 -- great name, the Cartwheel Galaxy!

    This image combines data from four different observatories: the Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple); the Galaxy Evolution Explorer satellite (ultraviolet/blue); the Hubble Space Telescope (visible/green); the Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared/red). The unusual shape of the Cartwheel Galaxy is likely due to a collision with one of the smaller galaxies on the lower left several hundred million years ago.

    The smaller galaxy produced compression waves in the gas of the Cartwheel as it plunged through it. These compression waves trigger bursts of star formation. The most recent star burst has lit up the Cartwheel's rim, which has a diameter larger than that of the Milky Way galaxy, with millions of bright young stars.

    When the most massive of these stars explode as supernovas, they leave behind neutron stars and black holes. Some of these neutron stars and black holes have nearby companion stars, and have become powerful sources of X-rays as they pull matter off their companions.

    The brightest X-ray sources are likely black holes with companion stars, and appear as the white dots that lie along the rim of the X-ray image. The Cartwheel contains an exceptionally large number of these black hole binary X-ray sources, because many massive stars formed in the rim.

    Image credit: Composite: NASA/JPL/Caltech/P.Appleton et al. X-ray: NASA/CXC/A.Wolter & G.Trinchieri et al.

    More about this image:
    chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2006/cartwheel/

    More about Chandra:
    www.nasa.gov/chandra

    p.s. You can see all of our Chandra photos in the Chandra Group in Flickr at: www.flickr.com/groups/chandranasa/ We'd love to have you as a member!

    terrysigns13, Maria McGrail, and 108 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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    1. Sash´s Kitchen-Studio Photography 52 months ago | reply

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    2. Farley's Travels 52 months ago | reply

      Awesome Shot!

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    3. Señor L - senorl.blogspot.com.es 52 months ago | reply

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    4. Globetrotter_! 52 months ago | reply

      Oh wow amazing colors...Beautiful!!!
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    5. xeno.odem 52 months ago | reply

      Awesome Shot!

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    6. photoaskew2008 [deleted] 52 months ago | reply

      Awesome Shot!

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    7. Je suis de retour 52 months ago | reply

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    8. Lucky Strikes [deleted] 52 months ago | reply

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    9. Tigereon 52 months ago | reply

      nice fireworks capture

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    10. Bilderschreiber 52 months ago | reply

      I want to fly to there ...

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    11. Toan N. 52 months ago | reply

      Awesome Shot!

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    12. Purpletree..(Nancy Lee) 52 months ago | reply

      Awesome! Thanks for information also!

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    13. MNFISH 52 months ago | reply

      This brilliant photo is like a shooting star,
      totally inspiring!
      shine on...
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    14. Dominic Fasino 52 months ago | reply

      There is hope!

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    15. AnAmazementPhotography 52 months ago | reply

      There is hope!

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    16. Minh and Rochelle 52 months ago | reply

      Gorgeous as always - have a great week ahead!

    17. Frislanda Ferraris 52 months ago | reply

      This brilliant photo is like a shooting star,
      totally inspiring!
      shine on...
      SHINING☆STAR - Post 1- Invite 1- Give 5 Stars
      Thanks for brightening my day, shine on!

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