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Hot N Cold Andromeda

January 6, 2011

Here is another amazing outer space picture for the day. What you see here is a superimposed image of Andromeda Galaxy taken by two ESA telescopes— Herschel infra-red space telescope and XMM-Newton telescope. Andromeda is the nearest neighboring galaxy to our Milky Way and this image is one of the most detailed image of the galaxy. In this composite image you can see the young stars being born in the cold region of the galaxy as well as old massive stars dying out and emitting X-rays in the central region of the galaxy. Herschel infra-red telescope is able to look at the far infra-red radiations emitted by cold dust and gases (few degrees above absolute zero), which can be seen in the image as orange hue. This is the region where star formation takes place. The bluish hue in the center of the galaxy is due to high energy X-rays emitted by hot gases from massive dying stars and supernova explosions which is captured by XMM-Newton telescope.

Image Credit:  ESA/Herschel/PACS/SPIRE/J.Fritz, U.Gent/XMM-Newton/EPIC/W. Pietsch, MPE

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