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Stunning images from Hubble, Chandra, and more reveal value of space telescope teamwork

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What do you get when you put a space telescope to work with another space telescope or two? Amazing compilation images of our universe.

NASA recently highlighted some collaborations between its Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, particularly the Hubble Space Telescope, showing what sorts of images can be produced when you look at the same object in different wavelengths of light.

Gallery: Amazing nebula photos from Chandra & Hubble

M82

(Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC; Optical: NASA/STScI)

The galaxy M82 can be seen edge-on from Earth, allowing scientists a great perspective whenever star formation occurs, since there is little to block our view. Chandra observations, visible in blue and pink, show bursts of high temperatures created when gas is heated by supernova explosions. The Hubble Space Telescope’s optical images (shown in red and orange) reveal the galaxy’s shape.

Abell 2744

(Image credit: NASA/CXC; Optical: NASA/STScI)

The galaxy cluster Abell 2744 includes a lot of superheated gas that glows brightly in X-rays. The X-rays are seen in Chandra data as blue clouds, juxtaposed with the optical light detected by Hubble and shown in red, green and blue. Galaxy clusters are enormous collections of galaxies held together by gravity, and these behemoths teach astronomers about the structure of the universe.

Supernova 1987A (SN 1987A)

(Image credit: Radio: ALMA/ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/P. Cigan/R. Indebetouw/NRAO/AUI/NSF/B. Saxton; X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/PSU/K. Frank et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI)

A supernova explosion that occurred on Feb. 24, 1987, is still producing valuable scientific data a generation later. Telescopes regularly revisit Supernova 1987A to see how its gas and dust morph over the years. Chandra data (in blue) show the shockwave of the supernova hitting a shell roughly four light-years in diameter of material surrounding the exploded star. Hubble’s view also shows some of the interaction in optical wavelengths, shown here in