In a Different Light: The Pinwheel Galaxy

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Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Sonoma State University
  • Image of Pinwheel Galaxy (visible light): NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope
  • Image of Pinwheel Galaxy (infrared): NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope
  • Image of Pinwheel Galaxy (ultraviolet): NASA’s GALEX spacecraft
  • Image of Pinwheel Galaxy (ultraviolet): NASA’s Swift satellite
  • Image of Pinwheel Galaxy (X-ray): NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory
  • Image of Pinwheel Galaxy (multiwavelength): Hubble Space Telescope (visible), Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared), and Chandra X-ray Observatory (X-ray)(SPEECH)
    Text, In A Different Light, The Pinwheel Galaxy, Electromagnetic Spectrum. The Pinwheel Galaxy, Quick Facts. Name, Pinwheel Galaxy, M 1 0 1. Distance, About 22 million light-years. Constellation, Ursa Major. A bar across the bottom of the screen reads, Radio, Microwave, Infrared, Visible, Ultraviolet, X-ray, Gamma Ray.
    Ursa Major, Canes Venatici, Draco. Text, Roughly 22 million light-years away, in the direction of the Big Dipper, lies a galaxy much like our own Milky Way, but almost twice as big. The Pinwheel Galaxy is a huge spiral galaxy, a swirling assembly of stars, gas, and dust. It is home to a trillion stars, but is building many more new stars too. Ground-based view.
    This view, taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, shows the Pinwheel Galaxy in visible light, the kind of light we see with our eyes.
    The word Visible is highlighted.
    Text, The galaxy shines with the light of stars, star clusters, and glowing gas, all arranged in spiral arms that wrap around a bright, tightly packed core of stars.
    In some places, this light is blocked out by dark lanes of dust where dense clouds may eventually collapse to form even more stars.
    A brighter and more saturated photo of the galaxy appears. The word Infrared is highlighted.
    Text, An infrared view from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals the Pinwheel Galaxy's spiral arm structure even more clearly.
    Text, Infrared light highlights the warm glow of dust heated by the galaxy's hot young stars.
    Regions of intense star formation stand out in red.
    A black and white photo of the galaxy appears. The word ultraviolet is highlighted.
    Text, This image, captured by NASA's GALEX spacecraft, shows the Pinwheel Galaxy in ultraviolet light.
    This view highlights the star-forming regions in the galaxy's spiral arms, where massive young stars are emitting ultraviolet light.
    In 2011 NASA's Swift satellite captured the intense ultraviolet light from one of these massive stars exploding as a supernova.
    A pink and blue photo of the galaxy appears. The word X-ray is highlighted.
    Text, An X-ray examination by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory uncovers high-energy phenomena throughout the Pinwheel Galaxy.
    The white dots pinpoint the remnants of exploded stars, as well as black holes with material swirling around them.
    Pink and blue show million-degree gas and clusters of massive stars.
    A vibrant and colorful photo of the galaxy appears. The words visible, infrared, and X-ray are highlighted.
    Text, In this multiwavelength image, the Pinwheel Galaxy is observed in visible, infrared, and X-ray light.
    By observing the Pinwheel Galaxy in multiple wavelengths of light, we can get a more complete picture of how stars form, how black holes feed, and how other dynamic processes play out within the large spiral galaxies of the universe.

All narration is presented in text form within the video. In addition, a full transcript will be available in the Library in the near future. Check back soon!