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Medusa - NGC 4194

In ancient legends, looking at Medusa turned unfortunate viewers to stone, but NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory finds the Medusa galaxy easy on the eyes. The mythological Medusa had hair of writhing snakes, while this galaxy's "hair" is a tidal tail formed by a collision between galaxies. X-ray data has pinpointed a bright ornament in the left side of Medusa's hair -- not a shining jewel, but a black hole that may hold clues to star formation. A recent study of the Medusa galaxy and nine other galaxies measured the correlation between the formation of stars and the production of X-ray binaries. These X-ray binaries appear as the bright blue point-like sources in this image of Medusa.
The Medusa Nebula is a very old and large planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini on the Canis Minor border. As it is so big, its surface brightness is very low, with surface magnitudes of between +15.99 and +25. The Medusa was discovered in 1955, and until the early 1980s it was thought to be a supernova remnant.
Image credit:
X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Iowa/P. Kaaret et al. Optical: NASA/ESA/ STScI/Univ. of Iowa/P. Kaaret et al.

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