Release Images

Release No.: 2009-21
For Release: Monday, November 2, 2009 - 6:00am

VERITAS Telescopes Help Solve 100-Year-Old Mystery: The Origin of Cosmic Rays


This image is a composite of multi-wavelength images of the active galaxy M82 from the three Great Observatories: Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope. X-ray data recorded by Chandra (courtesy of NASA/CXC/JHU/D.Strickland) appears here in blue; infrared light recorded by Spitzer (courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/C. Engelbracht (University of Arizona)) appears in red; Hubble's observations (courtesy of NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)) of hydrogen emission appears in orange, and the bluest visible light appears in yellow-green.

NASA, ESA, CXC, and JPL-Caltech


This representative-color figure shows the very-high-energy gamma-ray emission observed by VERITAS coming from the Cigar Galaxy, also known as Messier 82. The black star is the location of the active starburst region. The emission from M82 is effectively point-like for VERITAS, and the white circle indicates the size of a simulated point source. The entire galaxy would be contained within the circle.

CfA/V.A. Acciari


The Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System (VERITAS) is a collection of four 12-meter Cherenkov telescopes used to detect astrophysical sources of very-high-energy gamma rays.

Steve Criswell, SAO