Chandra image of M101

Chandra's image of Messier 101, taken in X-ray light, shows the high-energy features of this spiral galaxy. X-rays are generally created in violent and/or high-temperature events. The white dots are X-ray sources that include the remains of exploded stars as well as material colliding at extreme speeds around black holes. The pink and blue colours are emission from million-degree gas and from clusters of massive stars. The pink emission indicates lower-energy X-rays and the blue higher-energy X-rays. One reason astronomers study Messier 101's X-rays is to better understand how black holes grow in spiral galaxies.


NASA, CXC and K. Kuntz (JHU)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:10 February 2009, 15:00
Size:7200 x 7200 px

About the Object

Name:Messier 101, NGC 4547, Pinwheel
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:22 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.5 MB
Publication JPEG
944.1 KB
Screensize JPEG
73.9 KB


Colours & filters

Hard X-ray
1.825 nm Chandra
Hard X-ray
0.008275 nm Chandra

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