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Latest Chandra X-ray Observatory Stories

a373b9151166d30a4a1f72543a8b76c11
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...

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2007-03-12 12:40:03

By casting a wide net, astronomers have captured an image of more than a thousand supermassive black holes. These results give astronomers a snapshot of a crucial period when these monster black holes are growing, and provide insight into the environments in which they occur. The new black hole panorama was made with data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based optical telescopes. The black holes in the image are hundreds of millions to several...

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2007-02-16 14:20:00

Imagine two stars with winds so intense that they eject an Earth's worth of material roughly once every month. Next, imagine those two winds colliding head-on. Such titanic collisions produce multimillion-degree gas, which radiates brilliantly in X-rays. Astronomers have conclusively identified the X-rays from about two-dozen of these systems in our Milky Way. But they have never seen one outside our galaxy "” until now. Thanks to the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray...

502d52cd10ff1394f98cb2089d6664801
2007-02-12 08:55:00

A bunch of rowdy comets are colliding and kicking up dust around a dead star, according to new observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. The dead star lies at the center of the much-photographed Helix nebula, a shimmering cloud of gas with an eerie resemblance to a giant eye. "We were surprised to see so much dust around this star," said Dr. Kate Su of the University of Arizona, Tucson, lead author of a paper on the results appearing in the March 1 issue of Astrophysical Journal...

40eeb0cfa10e5b5b0e6f24c8493a390b1
2007-01-11 09:25:00

Like cold case investigators, astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to uncover evidence of a powerful outburst from the giant black hole at the Milky Way's center. A light echo was produced when X-ray light generated by gas falling into the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star"), was reflected off gas clouds near the black hole. While the primary X-rays from the outburst would have reached Earth about 50 years ago, the reflected...

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2007-01-09 16:15:00

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists have created a stunning new image of one of the youngest supernova remnants in the galaxy. This new view of the debris of an exploded star helps astronomers solve a long-standing mystery, with implications for understanding how a star's life can end catastrophically and for gauging the expansion of the universe. Over 400 years ago, sky watchers -- including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler -- noticed a bright new object in the night...

f0430f8618edf34391feef403770bcf8
2007-01-04 14:55:00

Evidence for a significant new class of supernova has been found with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. These results strengthen the case for a population of stars that evolve rapidly and are destroyed by thermonuclear explosions. Such "prompt" supernovas could be valuable tools for probing the early history of the cosmos. A team of astronomers uncovered a puzzling situation when they examined X-ray data from DEM L238 and DEM L249, the remnants of...

d3b83ff4a26e28d0738f69f4f33e7aa6
2007-01-03 15:30:00

Astronomers have found a black hole where few thought they could ever exist, inside a globular star cluster. The finding has broad implications for the dynamics of stars clusters and also for the existence of a still-speculative new class of black holes called 'intermediate-mass' black holes. The discovery is reported in the current issue of Nature. Tom Maccarone of the University of Southampton in England leads an international team on the finding, made primarily with the European Space...

a71c36c75ec8b3ee300926655f1db456
2006-12-05 13:55:00

A giant black hole has been caught red-handed dipping into a cosmic cookie jar of stars by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer. This is the first time astronomers have seen the whole process of a black hole eating a star, from its first to nearly final bites. "This type of event is very rare, so we are lucky to study the entire process from beginning to end," said Dr. Suvi Gezari of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. Gezari is lead author of a new paper appearing in the...

643404869eafa1511481927ae3789e2b
2006-11-02 17:55:11

This is a new composite image of galaxy cluster MS0735.6+7421, located about 2.6 billion light-years away in the constellation Camelopardus. The three views of the region were taken with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in Feb. 2006, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in Nov. 2003, and NRAO's Very Large Array in Oct. 2004. The Hubble image shows dozens of galaxies bound together by gravity. In Jan. 2005, astronomers reported that a supermassive black hole, lurking in the central bright galaxy,...


Latest Chandra X-ray Observatory Reference Libraries

7_d6897d09acee1dd0c34d0fbf62ff7d0b2
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...

2_a81834bec3c2c5679a2f649dd032460c2
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
caparison
  • 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.
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