How To Photograph An Exploding Star

Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star

This is SNR E0519-69.0, an expanding shell of debris around a star that exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. The red lines are the outer edges of the explosion (visible light) and the blue glow is the superhot gas (millions of degrees hot, in X-Ray).

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This is just one of five incredible composite images released recently by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory to celebrate the United Nations' Year of Light. They're all stunning, and they all combine different types of light to create a portrait of incredible stellar phenomena.

See the others below:

Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star

X-ray & Optical Images of RCW 86

This supernova remnant is the remains of an exploded star that may have been witnessed by Chinese astronomers almost 2,000 years ago. Modern telescopes have the advantage of observing this object in light that is completely invisible to the unaided human eye. This image combines X-rays from Chandra (pink and blue) along with visible emission from hydrogen atoms in the rim of the remnant, observed with the 0.9-m Curtis Schmidt telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (yellow). (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/D.Castro et al, Optical: NOAO/AURA/NSF/CTIO)

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Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star

X-ray, Optical & Radio Images of Cygnus A

This galaxy, at a distance of some 700 million light years, contains a giant bubble filled with hot, X-ray emitting gas detected by Chandra (blue). Radio data from the NSF's Very Large Array (red) reveal "hot spots" about 300,000 light years out from the center of the galaxy where powerful jets emanating from the galaxy's supermassive black hole end. Visible light data (yellow) from both Hubble and the DSS complete this view. (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/NRAO/AUI/VLA)

Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star

X-ray, Optical & Radio Images of MSH 11-62

When X-rays, shown in blue, from Chandra and XMM-Newton are joined in this image with radio data from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (pink) and visible light data from the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS, yellow), a new view of the region emerges. This object, known as MSH 11-62, contains an inner nebula of charged particles that could be an outflow from the dense spinning core left behind when a massive star exploded. (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/P.Slane et al; Optical: DSS; Radio: CSIRO/ATNF/ATCA)

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Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star

X-ray, Optical, Infrared & UV Images of M51

This galaxy, nicknamed the "Whirlpool," is a spiral galaxy, like our Milky Way, located about 30 million light years from Earth. This composite image combines data collected at X-ray wavelengths by Chandra (purple), ultraviolet by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX, blue); visible light by Hubble (green), and infrared by Spitzer (red). (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Here's a few other versions of that last one, because they're so pretty:

Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star
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Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star
Illustration for article titled How To Photograph An Exploding Star
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DISCUSSION

AtomicSamuraiRobot
Atomic Samurai Robot

Biggest disappointment to new amateur astronomers is that looking at Jupiter with the naked eye is you don't really see green and red, not unless the scope has a huge aperture and you are using the right filters. All the cool pictures they see in magazines are from long duration, multiple filtered, image manipulated to bring out detail, etc.

Edit: That said, the black marks caused by Shoemaker-Levy on Jupiter in 1994 seriously blew my mind looking at Jupiter though my little 8" SCT.