Chandra Sees Star Formation in NGC 281

Here’s a short little post about the star forming nebula NGC 281, captured by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This photograph is actually a composite of several wavelengths, imaged by ground and space-based observatories.

The optical data (red, orange and yellow) shows the clouds of gas and dust, and the dark lanes of obscuring dust where stars may be forming. The Chandra X-Ray data is in purple, and reveals more than 300 individual X-ray sources – most of them are associated with the central star forming region.

There’s another group of X-ray sources on the other side of the molecular cloud. Based on the elements in the region, astronomers think that a supernova went off in the region recently.

But really, it’s a pretty picture.

Original Source: Chandra News Release