A fleet of remarkable space telescopes are sending back unprecedented views of our universe. The famous Hubble telescope takes the sharpest images, but only its cousins, Chandra and Spitzer, can see the invisible X-ray and infrared light that help complete the cosmic story.
Chandra’s X-ray camera can see some of the most dynamic events in space—erupting black holes, exploding stars, and colliding galaxies. Jonathan McDowell astrophysicist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, illuminates Chandra’s discoveries as he explains how X-ray telescopes probe cosmic dramas. Infrared images of the optically invisible universe are the domain of the Spitzer space telescope, which can reveal the cooler process of star birth, and provide a glimpse into the everyday life of the galaxies. Taken together, these different views have been crucial to the astonishing discoveries astronomers have made about the universe in the past decade.
Take a look at The Evolving Universe exhibition at the Natural History Museum (through
July 7, 2013).