Westerlund 2 Breaks Through

This image (Credit: NASA/CXC/Univ. de Liège/Y. Naze et al) is of the star cluster Westerlund 2. The human eye would not see this. In fact, the human eye would see massive dust clouds in between the Earth and this distant (20,000 light years) star family. The Chandra X-Ray observatory can penetrate the dust. Or more accurately, the X-Rays and heat given off by the stars and clouds of this region of space penetrate the dust and arrive at our space telescopes.

This image shows low energy X-rays in 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.

Here’s Westerlund 2 in infra-red (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Wisconsin/E. Churchwell):

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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