The United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies. The global initiative is hoping to highlight the importance of light and optical technologies with the help of organizations like NASA, who decided to start celebrating this week with the release of some stunning space images.
“By studying X-ray data and comparing them with observations in other types of light, scientists can develop a better understanding of objects likes stars and galaxies that generate temperatures of millions of degrees and produce X-rays… From a distant galaxy to the relatively nearby debris field of an exploded star, these images demonstrate the myriad ways that information about the Universe is communicated to us through light,” the observatory explains on its website.
The observatory has also launched an image repository for the International Year of Light, “Light: Beyond the Bulb,” where you can find and contribute images that highlight light-based science. You can see the observatory’s beautiful combined images and learn more about them below. The individual photos from each telescope can be found on their website.