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By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/31/2013 (5 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Images were released from the Chandra Space Archives in honor of American Archive Month, October 2013.

In celebration of American Archive Month, 2013, NASA has released eight new images from its archives. The images are among the most dramatic ones of phenomenon captured in space.

The Fireworks Galaxy, one of the eight images released by NASA this week.

The Fireworks Galaxy, one of the eight images released by NASA this week.

Article Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/31/2013 (5 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: NASA, space, archive, images, Chandra


The eight images are composite images, combining X-Ray, optical, infrared, and radio observations in various pairings to reveal details that would not be visible in just one wavelength. By pairing different elements, astronomers can see in the context of a single image, what is actually happening deep in space.

Most of the images feature nebulas, vast regions of dust and gas formed by the explosion of a large, dense star. These regions of dust and gas are rich in complex molecules and heavy materials, prerequisites for life. Although the images show cosmic apocalypse, it should be understood that the word apocalypse actually means a "revelation" or a "new beginning." From this drama, new stars and planets form, possibly providing new opportunities for life.

This image shows the impressive twin jets that speed away from the poles of a supermassive black hol

This image shows the impressive twin jets that speed away from the poles of a supermassive black hole in the heart of a distant galaxy. The galaxy is just a spot at the center of the image, but the jets spew far into intergalactic space at extreme velocities. The gas and dust are remarkably diffuse but show up distinctly using radio observations. This image shows the power of these enigmatic objects which can be billions of times more massive than our Sun.



This is a combination X-Ray and optical image of a supernova within our own galaxy. The image shows

This is a combination X-Ray and optical image of a supernova within our own galaxy. The image shows the shockwave from the star's explosion. From these stellar deaths, heavier elements are formed, as well as the building blocks of life. In billions of years, the gas from this explosion will form new stars with attendant planets. Will life follow?



A vast nebula just 9,000 light years away. From great clouds of dust and gas, new stars form. New st

A vast nebula just 9,000 light years away. From great clouds of dust and gas, new stars form. New stars burn hot and blue in this image. These nebula are so vast that a new star and its planets would occupy a space just a few pixels wide.



Another galaxy with a supermassive black hole spewing dust and gas in its center. This is galaxy NGC

Another galaxy with a supermassive black hole spewing dust and gas in its center. This is galaxy NGC 4945, and it is similar to our galaxy in size and form. However, its supermassive black hole is much more active than ours, possibly because it has more matter to consume. The jet from the black hole is the whitish portion at the image's center.



This is a picture of a single jet of gas from a newly-formed star, deep within a much larger nebula.

This is a picture of a single jet of gas from a newly-formed star, deep within a much larger nebula. As the new star begins fusion in its core and 'switches on' it blows the remaining dust and gas outwards into space. The shockwave from this can cause even more stars to form.



This is a young supernova, which would normally be spherical in shape, but instead has a box shape.

This is a young supernova, which would normally be spherical in shape, but instead has a box shape. Scientists think this is because cooler gasses are prevalent in the region, slowing and deforming the shockwave as it radiates out.



Here is a supernova in its more conventional form. The gasses are expanding outwards in all directio

Here is a supernova in its more conventional form. The gasses are expanding outwards in all directions, forming a rough sphere. Supernovas occur when stars run out of fuel for fusion in their cores and their cores first collapse inward, then explode into space. It is perhaps the most powerful phenomenon astronomers have ever witnessed. From such death, it is believed comes the physical prerequisites for life.



The

The 'Fireworks Galaxy,' so dubbed because of its appearance. It also has produced eight supernovas within the last century, lending credence to its name.



A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

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