Light Beyond the Bulb

30 million light years

Cassiopeia A

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech

By combining light from several different telescopes, this image reveals information about the galaxy known as M51, which could never be gleaned from just one band of light. NASA’s Chandra finds point-like X-ray sources (represented in purple) that are black holes and neutron stars in binary star systems, along with a diffuse glow of hot gas. Visible light data from Hubble (green) and infrared data Spitzer (red) both highlight long lanes of stars and gas laced with dust. A view of M51 with GALEX shows hot, young stars that produce lots of ultraviolet light (blue).

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