To see the Universe in full, astronomers have to get creative. They combine multiple photos taken by different cameras to make one colourful picture. For example, in this beautiful new picture of a star-forming cloud, the space telescope called Chandra only captured the purple regions. Meanwhile, another space telescope called Spitzer saw things a bit differently when it observed the same cloud – everything shown here other than the purple bits!
But why don’t these two telescopes see the star-forming cloud in the same way? The answer lies in the type of light that the telescopes are designed to observe. Our eyes can only see visible light. But there are many other types of light that can be detected by special telescopes, such as infrared, ultraviolet and X-ray.
X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk; IR: NASA/JPL/CfA/S.Wolk