A new form of professional and amateur collaboration in astronomy has seen amateur astrophotographers combining their images with data from the Chandra and Spitzer space observatories in a multiwavelength project called Astro Pro-Am. The image of Centaurus A shown here includes X-rays from Chandra in purple, infrared emission from Spitzer in red and the optical data are shown in red, green, and blue. The optical image was taken by amateur astronomer Rolf Olsen with a 10-inch telescope he built himself. The jet from Cen A shows very clearly in X-rays (purple) but the fine optical image produced by Olsen also shows evidence for it at optical wavelengths. The Astro Pro-Am collaboration also involves the work of another amateur observer, Detlef Hartmann, and is a great way to raise interest and awareness among the amateur community of the wealth of data available in NASA’s mission archives.
This image is published in the June 2014 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics.