Chandra’s x-ray data gives new insight into Webb images


This week has been a fun time for telescope teams, with a recent project combining data from the James Webb and Hubble Space Telescopes. There is also a second set of images that has been released that combines data from the James Webb Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The Chandra Observatory, which is also a space telescope, peers into the wavelength of x-rays to investigate phenomena such as the epic kilonova explosions, search for the universe’s missing matter and capture stunning images of the universe. universe as seen in X-ray observations. It has even been used to detect a possible exoplanet in the Whirlpool galaxy. Now she has turned to the targets of early James Webb images to show these now-famous objects in a new light.

Chandra’s X-rays were combined with infrared data from the first publicly released James Webb Space Telescope images. Credit: X-Ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; IR (Spitzer): NASA/JPL-Caltech; IR (Webb): NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI

Clockwise from top left, these images show Stephan’s Quintet, the Cartwheel Galaxy, the Carine Nebula, and Webb’s First Deep Field. Chandra X-ray data has been added to the original images in shades of blue and purple, selecting X-rays emitted by things like extremely hot gases, bright young stars, or by black holes or stars neutrons that feed on nearby matter sources.

Compared to Webb’s infrared view, Chandra observes even higher energy X-rays, which are emitted by very high energy processes. By looking at these two wavelengths, astronomers can spot phenomena that would otherwise be invisible. In Stephan’s Quintet, for example, a cluster of five nearby galaxies, Chandra’s data revealed a shock wave caused by two of the galaxies colliding at 2 million miles per hour. This shock wave heats the gas to tens of millions of degrees. In the image of the Carina Nebula, X-rays shown in purple pick out some of the hottest and most massive young stars.

These images show that, as powerful as Webb is on its own, it becomes even more so when used with other tools. “[Webb] is designed to work in concert with many other NASA telescopes as well as facilities both in space and on the ground,” NASA said. “These new versions of Webb’s earliest images combine his infrared data with X-rays collected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, highlighting how the power of one of these telescopes is only enhanced when it is associated with others.”

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