Latest Chandra X-ray Observatory Stories

2007-09-20 12:51:00

Astronomers have found evidence that stars have been forming in a long tail of gas that extends well outside its parent galaxy. This discovery suggests that such "orphan" stars may be much more prevalent than previously thought. The comet-like tail was observed in X-ray light with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and in optical light with the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope in Chile. The feature extends for more than 200,000 light years and was created as gas was stripped...

2007-08-16 12:20:00

Astronomers have discovered a chaotic scene unlike any witnessed before in a cosmic "train wreck" between giant galaxy clusters. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical telescopes revealed a dark matter core that was mostly devoid of galaxies, which may pose problems for current theories of dark matter behavior. "These results challenge our understanding of the way clusters merge," said Dr. Andisheh Mahdavi of the University of Victoria, British Columbia. "Or, they possibly make us even...

2007-07-24 12:56:10

Supermassive black holes have been discovered to grow more rapidly in young galaxy clusters, according to new results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. These "fast-track" supermassive black holes can have a big influence on the galaxies and clusters that they live in. Using Chandra, scientists surveyed a sample of clusters and counted the fraction of galaxies with rapidly growing supermassive black holes, known as active galactic nuclei (or AGN). The data show, for the first time, that...

2007-07-03 11:16:59

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will house the agency's new Einstein Probes Office, created to study the universe's exotic phenomena: dark energy, black holes and cosmic microwave background radiation. The new division, to be housed in Goddard's Beyond Einstein Program Office, will facilitate NASA's future medium-class science missions to investigate these profound cosmic mysteries. The Beyond Einstein Program consists of five proposed missions: two major observatories...

2007-06-27 19:05:00

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed an X-ray jet blasting away from a neutron star in a binary system. This discovery may help astronomers understand how neutron stars as well as black holes can generate powerful beams of relativistic particles. The jet was found in Circinus X-1, a system where a neutron star is in orbit around a star several times the mass of the Sun, about 20,000 light years from Earth. A neutron star is an extremely dense remnant of an exploded star consisting...

2007-05-30 18:00:00

Evidence for an awesome upheaval in a massive galaxy cluster was discovered in an image made by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. The origin of a bright arc of ferociously hot gas extending over two million light years requires one of the most energetic events ever detected. The cluster of galaxies is filled with tenuous gas at 170 million degree Celsius that is bound by the mass equivalent of a quadrillion, or 1,000 trillion, suns. The temperature and mass make this cluster a giant among...

2007-05-07 14:25:00

The brightest stellar explosion ever recorded may be a long-sought new type of supernova, according to observations by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and ground-based optical telescopes. This discovery indicates that violent explosions of extremely massive stars were relatively common in the early universe, and that a similar explosion may be ready to go off in our own galaxy. "This was a truly monstrous explosion, a hundred times more energetic than a typical supernova," said Nathan...

2007-04-12 00:25:00

A remarkable eclipse of a supermassive black hole and the hot gas disk around it has been observed with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This eclipse has allowed two key predictions about the effects of supermassive black holes to be tested. Just as eclipses of the Sun and moon give astronomers rare opportunities to learn about those objects, an alignment in a nearby galaxy has provided a rare opportunity to investigate a supermassive black hole. The supermassive black hole is located in...

2007-04-10 12:45:51

Using a trio of space observatories, astronomers may have cracked a 45-year old mystery surrounding two ghostly spiral arms in the galaxy M106 (NGC 4258). The results, obtained by a team from the University of Maryland (USA), took advantage of the unique capabilities of the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. M106 (also known as NGC 4258) is a spiral galaxy 23.5 million light-years away, in the...

2007-04-04 13:20:00

In a galaxy far, far away, a massive star suffered a nasty double whammy. On Oct. 20, 2004, Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki saw the star let loose an outburst so bright that it was initially mistaken for a supernova. The star survived, but for only two years. On Oct. 11, 2006, professional and amateur astronomers witnessed the star actually blowing itself to smithereens as Supernova 2006jc. "We have never observed a stellar outburst and then later seen the star explode," says...

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...

More Articles (2 articles) »
Word of the Day
  • A vial or small glass bottle, especially one for holding vinegar, oil, etc.; a caster for liquids.
This word is Middle English in origin, and ultimately comes from the Old French, diminutive of 'crue,' flask.