NASA’s Swift Produces Best Ultraviolet Maps of the Nearest Galaxies
Nearly a million ultraviolet sources appear in this mosaic of the Large Magellanic Cloud (top image), which was assembled from 2,200 images taken by Swift’s Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope. The 160-megapixel image required a cumulative exposure of 5.4 days. The image includes light from 1,600 to 3,300 angstroms — UV wavelengths largely blocked by Earth’s atmosphere — and has an angular resolution of 2.5 arcseconds at full size. The LMC is about 14,000 light-years across.
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For comparison, the lower image shows the galay’s appearance in optical light.
UV image credit: NASA/Swift/S. Immler (Goddard) and M. Siegel (Penn State)
Visible image credit: Axel Mellinger, Central Michigan Univ.