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Professional and Amateur Quartet of Galaxies
Sig14 008

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Detlef Hartmann; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Collage • April 23rd, 2014 • sig14-008


This quartet of galaxies comes from a collaboration of professional and amateur astronomers that combines optical data from amateur telescopes with data from the archives of NASA missions. Starting in the upper left and moving clockwise, the galaxies are M101 (the "Pinwheel Galaxy"), M81, Centaurus A, and M51 (the "Whirlpool Galaxy"). In these images, X-rays from Chandra are in pink, infrared data from Spitzer are red, and the optical data are in red, green, and blue. The two astrophotographers who donated their images for these composites -- Detlef Hartmann and Rolf Olsen -- used their personal telescopes of 17.5 inches and 10 inches in diameter respectively.

About the Object

M101M81M51Centaurus A
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
21,000,000 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 2.4 ┬Ám Spitzer MIPS
Optical 657 nm
Optical 429 nm
X-ray 1.5 keV Chandra ACIS