NASA’s Spitzer Telescope has caught a beautiful glimpse of the Whirlpool galaxy. You can see it in different wavelengths of light.
If you wanna see the universe as it is you have to observe it in infrared light. NASA’s Spitzer Telescope has done just that with the latest image of the Whirlpool galaxy.
The multiwavelength views of the galaxy resemble Andy Warhol’s paintings. But the different colors here, represent different light wavelengths.
The first one on the left is shown in visible light as it appears to the human eye. The next image combines visible and infrared light. Meanwhile, the two on the right show different wavelengths of infrared light.
You Might Like This: “The Most Distant Galaxy In The Universe“
The Kitt Peak National Observatory’s telescope caught the first image on the left. The dark lines in the spiral arms represent dust, which wraps the stars embedded in it or behind it.
The second image appears in blue and green visible light as well as Spitzer’s red data. Spitzer’s infrared detections help light up the dust.
The two images on the right represent Spitzer’s infrared perspective in different ranges.
The Whirlpool galaxy, also known as Messier 51 and NGC 5194/5195, is actually a pair of galaxies that are merging due to their gravitational attraction. It lies about 23 million light-years away in the constellation Canes Venatici.
Being able to see at different wavelengths helps astronomers observe dense gaseous areas between stars that are normally difficult to detect. The telescope also allows astronomers to spot the births and deaths of stars, among others.
Spitzer has also revealed the largest ring of Saturn and even helps to spot small asteroids coming our way.
The telescope has helped us see the hidden universe for about sixteen years. But Spitzer’s mission will finally come to an end in January 2020.