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Spiral Galaxy M101 - Chandra X-ray Observatory
Ssc2009 03b3

Credit: NASA, CXC, and K. Kuntz (JHU)

Observation • February 10th, 2009 • ssc2009-03b3


Chandra's image of Messier 101, taken in X-ray light, shows the high-energy features of this spiral galaxy. X-rays are generally created in violent and/or high-temperature events. The white dots are X-ray sources that include the remains of exploded stars as well as material colliding at extreme speeds around black holes. The pink and blue colors are emission from million-degree gas and from clusters of massive stars. The pink emission indicates lower-energy X-rays and the blue higher-energy X-rays. One reason astronomers study Messier 101's X-rays is to better understand how black holes grow in spiral galaxies.

About the Object

Pinwheel GalaxyMessier 101M101
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Galaxy > Activity > Normal
27,000,000 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
X-ray 0.7 keV Chandra ACIS
X-ray 5.0 keV Chandra ACIS