There’s more to the universe than meets the eye – or at least our eyes, which can only detect the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. We can see just a small fraction of the light emitted by the universe. This is why we have satellites that can observe different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum – they each provide us a different piece of the puzzle.
Scientist Dr. Stefan Immler was part of a team that captured a new and unique view of one of our closest galactic neighbors with the Swift satellite, which has the ability to detect ultraviolet light. The Andromeda Galaxy, or M31, is a beautiful “nearby” spiral galaxy that is actually visible to the naked eye. We talked with Dr. Immler about what his team learned about the galaxy when Swift took a look in the UV.
About the Episode
Dr. Stefan Immler is a research scientist on the Swift team at NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center. His team produced a mosaic of M31 which was made from merging 330 individual images taken by the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope aboard NASA’s Swift spacecraft. It is the highest-resolution image of the galaxy ever recorded in the ultraviolet. The image shows a region 200,000 light-years wide and 100,000 light-years high. You can see this amazing image in the press release below:
Here are some other links that might be of interest:
- Want to know more about UV light? Read Imagine the Universe! on The Electromagnetic Spectrum.
- More about the Swift Satellite
- Swift Education & Public Outreach.
- Where to find the Andromeda Galaxy in the sky.
|Theme Music||Naked Singularity|
|Additional Music||Kevin McCloud|
|Website Support||Meredith Gibb
|Executive Producer||Anita Krishnamurthi|
|Responsible NASA Official||Kim Weaver|