Under the Wing
The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), one of the Milky Way’s closest neighbors, appears as a technicolor swirl in this composite image released by NASA on April 4.
The SMC is technically a dwarf galaxy, but it’s so bright it can be seen by the unaided eye from the Southern Hemisphere and areas near the equator.
New observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory—a space telescope launched by NASA in 1999—of the SMC’s “Wing” region are our first glimpse of x-ray emissions from young stars similar to our sun outside the Milky Way.
In this composite shot, Chandra data is shown in purple; optical data from the Hubble Telescope is red, green, and blue; and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope is also shown in red.
Space Pictures This Week: Galaxy Double Feature and Russian Blastoff
A galaxy double feature, gulf currents light up, and Russia blasts off in this week’s best space pictures.