Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick
mckitterick

Astro-Porn of the Day: Andromeda Galaxy in Many Wavelengths

NASA has released some amazing new photos from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. All photos courtesy of NASA:

Click the image to see the old NASA APOD page.
Back when I was a boy, here is how we saw the Andromeda Galaxy (Messier 31), taken with a big, Earth-bound telescope in the visual-light spectrum. It's one of the very first astro-subjects I ever photographed, too, which looked nowhere as pretty as this shot; rather, my photo shows a sort of oval-shaped blur with a little round blur off to one side *g*

Click the image to see the old NASA APOD page on this shot.
WISE used all four of its infrared detectors to capture this picture: 3.4- and 4.6-micron light is blue (mature stars), 12-micron light is green (Main-Sequence stars and dust), and 22-micron light is red (massive newborn stars).

Click the image to see the WISE first-light story on this shot.
This photo uses only the 3.4-micron camera to emphasize the Andromeda galaxy's oldest stars in blue light.

Click the image to see the WISE first-light story on this shot.
This photo uses the 12-micron camera to emphasize the dust scattered throughout the Andromeda galaxy's spiral arms (orange) and 22-micron light to reveal massive, newborn stars (red).

Science = awesome new ways to see the universe!

Best,
Chris
Tags: astronomy
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