The International Year of Light is in full swing and I’m sure you are all celebrating and attending all the festivities in your town and/or city. Well, I am. I started off by turning on every light in my house and will let them burn for an entire year! Wait, I’m being told that apparently, I have no idea what the IYL is and that I may be an idiot.
So what is the International Year of Light? According to Wikipedia, it is “…a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications and its importance to humankind.” Which sounds pretty cool, eh?
Well to demonstrate this the Chandra X-ray Observatory has released a series of images that explores the universe in X-rays and makes for a pretty cool picture.
Also, it must be said that the image above does have anything to do with The Immunity Syndrome from Star Trek: TOS. But we should be prepared to fly a shuttlecraft into a giant cell’s nucleus just in case. Just sayin’.
The year of 2015 has been declared the International Year of Light (IYL) by the United Nations. Organizations, institutions, and individuals involved in the science and applications of light will be joining together for this yearlong celebration to help spread the word about the wonders of light.
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory explores the universe in X-rays, a high-energy form of light. By studying X-ray data and comparing them with observations in other types of light, scientists can develop a better understanding of objects likes stars and galaxies that generate temperatures of millions of degrees and produce X-rays.
To recognize the start of IYL, the Chandra X-ray Center is releasing a set of images that combine data from telescopes tuned to different wavelengths of light. From a distant galaxy to the relatively nearby debris field of an exploded star, these images demonstrate the myriad ways that information about the universe is communicated to us through light.
In this image, an expanding shell of debris called SNR 0519-69.0 is left behind after a massive star exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. Multimillion-degree gas is seen in X-rays from Chandra, in blue. The outer edge of the explosion (red) and stars in the field of view are seen in visible light from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Image Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO | Courtesy of NASA