Latest Chandra X-ray Observatory Stories

Abell Galaxy Cluster Harbors Sloshing Clouds Of Gas
2012-01-31 05:00:32

A Naval Research Laboratory scientist is part of a team that has recently discovered that vast clouds of hot gas are "sloshing" in Abell 2052, a galaxy cluster located about 480 million light years from Earth. The scientists are studying the hot (30 million degree) gas using X-ray data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical data from the Very Large Telescope to see the galaxies. "The X-ray images were amazing. We were able to see gas sloshing like liquid in a glass" explains...

When Galaxy Clusters Collide
2012-01-10 15:18:03

A UC Davis graduate student who is leading a study of the collision of galaxy clusters 5 billion light years away discussed the team´s findings today, Jan. 10, in a press briefing at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas. “A galaxy cluster is like a little universe, because it has the same matter composition as the whole universe,” said William Dawson, a Ph.D. candidate in physics. “By studying this little universe, we can learn...

Image 2 - Slowpoke Pulsar Found Nestled In Young Supernova Remnant
2011-12-20 15:09:57

Astronomers have discovered a very slowly rotating X-ray pulsar still embedded in the remnant of the supernova that created it. This unusual object was detected on the outskirts of the Small Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, using data from a number of telescopes, including ESA's XMM-Newton. A puzzling mismatch between the fairly young age of the supernova remnant and the slow rotation of the pulsar, which would normally indicate a much older object, raises interesting...

Galaxy Cluster Gets Sloshed Around Like Wine
2011-12-14 04:39:49

Like wine in a glass, vast clouds of hot gas are sloshing back and forth in Abell 2052, a galaxy cluster located about 480 million light years from Earth. X-ray data (blue) from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the hot gas in this dynamic system, and optical data (gold) from the Very Large Telescope shows the galaxies. The hot, X-ray bright gas has an average temperature of about 30 million degrees. A huge spiral structure in the hot gas -- spanning almost a million light years -- is...

Swift Finds Gamma-Ray Burst With A Dual Personality
2011-12-01 04:28:51

[ Watch the Video ] A peculiar cosmic explosion first detected by NASA's Swift observatory on Christmas Day 2010 was caused either by a novel type of supernova located billions of light-years away or an unusual collision much closer to home, within our own galaxy. Papers describing both interpretations appear in the Dec. 1 issue of the journal Nature. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the universe's most luminous explosions, emitting more energy in a few seconds than our sun will during its...

Black Hole Birth Announcement
2011-11-17 14:40:32

For the first time, astronomers have produced a complete description of a black hole, a concentration of mass so dense that not even light can escape its powerful gravitational pull. Their precise measurements have allowed them to reconstruct the history of the object from its birth some six million years ago. Using several telescopes, both ground-based and in orbit, the scientists unraveled longstanding mysteries about the object called Cygnus X-1, a famous binary-star system discovered...

Image Release: Close Encounters Of The Galactic Kind
2011-10-26 02:54:11

Astronomers have used a large survey to test a prediction that close encounters between galaxies can trigger the rapid growth of supermassive black holes. Key to this work was Chandra's unique ability to pinpoint actively growing black holes through the X-rays they generate. The researchers looked at 562 pairs of galaxies ranging in distances from about 3 billion to 8 billion light years from Earth. They found that the galaxies in the early stages of an encounter with another were more...

Latest Chandra X-ray Observatory Reference Libraries

2004-10-19 04:45:44

X-Ray Astronomy -- Although the more energetic X-rays (E > 30 keV) can penetrate the air at least for distances of a few meters (they would never have been detected and medical X-ray machines would not work if this was not the case) the Earth's atmosphere is thick enough that virtually none are able to penetrate from outer space all the way to the Earth's surface. X-rays in the 0.5 - 5 keV range, where most celestial sources give off the bulk of their energy, can be stopped by a few...

2004-10-19 04:45:40

Chandra X-ray Observatory -- NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. Chandra is designed to observe X-rays from high-energy regions of the universe, such as the remnants of exploded stars. The Observatory has three major parts: (1) the X-ray telescope, whose mirrors focus X-rays from celestial objects; (2) the science instruments which record the X-rays so...

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Word of the Day
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.