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NASA Takes X-Ray Of Sparkly Whirlpool Galaxy

Anne Parsons
NASA Takes X-Ray Of Sparkly Whirlpool Galaxy© 2017 Chandra

NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory has just released a glittering new image of the M51 Galaxy, better known as the Whirlpool Galaxy.

It took one million seconds of observation time to reveal the hundreds of X-ray points of light in the Whirlpool Galaxy - a spiral galaxy similar to our own Milky Way. Like the Milky Way, the Whirlpool has mesmerising branches of stars and dust.

Looking at the Whirlpool gives us an insight into our own spiral galaxy that we cannot possibly observe in the same way. Even though Whirlpool is about 30 million light years away from Earth, we can capture a lot of it because of its face-on orientation.

The composite image above is part Chandra, part Hubble Space Telescope. The Chandra X-ray data is represented in purple, while the optical data from Hubble is in red, green and blue.

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