Image of a Pair of Colliding Galaxies by Chandra X-ray Observatory

Arp 299 Two galaxies are merging. Image by Chandra Xray Observatory
Arp 299 Two galaxies are merging. Image by Chandra Xray Observatory
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Behold this absolutely stunning image by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Space Observatory. It is of Arp 299, a system where two galaxies are colliding 140 million light years from Earth. This region can also boast of 14  “ultra-luminous X-ray sources” (ULXs) that have been discovered here. According the Chandra Xray instagram post, where the image was shared, these 14 ULX sources are all likely blackholes or neutron stars pulling material from a companion star much more massive than our Sun. New data from Chandra also reveals that there are 25 bright X-ray sources throughout the Arp 299 system.

Chandra X-ray observatory is a telescope launched on July 23, 1999 and is NASA’s flagship mission for X-ray astronomy. Specially designed to detect X-ray emission from very hot regions of the Universe such as exploded stars, clusters of galaxies, and matter around black holes, Chandra orbits above the Earth’s atmosphere up to an altitude of 139,000 km (86,500 mi) in space. It has imaged glowing remains of exploded stars, and has observed the region around the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way, in addition to finding black holes across the Universe.

Furthermore, it has traced the separation of dark matter from normal matter in the collision of galaxies in a cluster and is contributing to both dark matter and dark energy studies.

Photo: X-ray (Chandra and NuSTAR): NASA, CXC, Univ of Crete/K. Anastasopoulou et al, NASA, NuSTAR, GSFC/A. Ptak et al; Optical (Hubble): NASA, STScI⁣ from NASA Chandra Xray instagram


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I am a Chartered Environmentalist from the Royal Society for the Environment, UK and co-owner of DoLocal Digital Marketing Agency Ltd, with a Master of Environmental Management from Yale University, an MBA in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics. I am passionate about science, history and environment and love to create content on these topics.