Below is a selection of the best of images from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory collected by nasa1fan/MSFC on Flickr. The observatory, launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. It is a part of NASA’s fleet of “Great Observatories” along with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the now deorbited Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope.
In this image, low-energy X-rays are colored red, intermediate-energy X-rays in green, and high-energy X-rays in blue. The image shows a very high density of massive stars that are bright in X-rays, plus diffuse X-ray emission. An incredibly massive double star system called WR20a is visible as the bright yellow point just below and to the right of the cluster’s center.