Latest X-ray astronomy Stories

2011-06-30 06:57:38

In December 2010, a pair of mismatched stars in the southern constellation Crux whisked past each other at a distance closer than Venus orbits the sun. The system possesses a so-far unique blend of a hot and massive star with a compact fast-spinning pulsar. The pair's closest encounters occur every 3.4 years and each is marked by a sharp increase in gamma rays, the most extreme form of light. The unique combination of stars, the long wait between close approaches, and periods of intense...

2011-06-29 09:19:04

ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory has watched a faint star flare up at X-ray wavelengths to almost 10 000 times its normal brightness. Astronomers believe the outburst was caused by the star trying to eat a giant clump of matter. The flare took place on a neutron star, the collapsed heart of a once much larger star. Now about 10 km in diameter, the neutron star is so dense that it generates a strong gravitational field. The clump of matter was much larger than the neutron star and came...

2011-06-11 07:05:00

A study using NASA's Swift satellite and the Chandra X-ray Observatory has found a second supersized black hole at the heart of an unusual nearby galaxy already known to be sporting one. The galaxy, which is known as Markarian 739 or NGC 3758, lies 425 million light-years away toward the constellation Leo. Only about 11,000 light-years separate the two cores, each of which contains a black hole gorging on infalling gas. The study will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Astrophysical Journal...

2011-05-25 09:22:01

A Monash student has made a breakthrough in the field of astrophysics, discovering what has until now been described as the Universe's "Ëœmissing mass'. Amelia Fraser-McKelvie, working within a team at the Monash School of Physics, conducted a targeted X-ray search for the matter and within just three months found it "“ or at least some of it. What makes the discovery all the more noteworthy is the fact that Ms Fraser-McKelvie is not a career researcher, or even studying at a...

2011-05-24 11:20:00

A local supernova factory has recently started production, according to a wealth of new data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory on the Carina Nebula. This discovery may help astronomers better understand how some of the Galaxy's heaviest and youngest stars race through their lives and release newly-forged elements into their surroundings. Located in the Sagittarius-Carina arm of the Milky Way a mere 7,500 light years from Earth, the Carina Nebula has long been a favorite target for...

2011-04-18 09:15:57

Astronomers from Wales and the Netherlands, in collaboration with five schools, have used eight telescopes simultaneously to study the strange behavior of an X-ray binary star system.  Results will be presented by postgraduate student Fraser Lewis at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales, on Monday 18th April. IGR J00291+5934 ('00291') is a rare X-ray binary system containing a pulsar "“ a neutron star spinning several hundred times per second "“ and a normal...

2011-04-14 07:50:00

Like looking for Easter eggs in a lawn of long grass, the hunt for the Milky Way's most massive stars takes persistence and sharp eyes. In their stellar search through our Galactic backyard, astronomers have used powerful telescopes sensitive to X-ray and infrared radiation to find evidence for a substantial population of X-ray emitting massive stars. This image shows infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope near the plane of the Milky Way galaxy. Both outlined boxes contain an...

2011-04-07 10:00:09

NASA's Swift, Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory have teamed up to study one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts yet observed. More than a week later, high-energy radiation continues to brighten and fade from its location. Astronomers say they have never seen anything this bright, long-lasting and variable before. Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, but flaring emission from these events never lasts more than a few hours. Although research is...

2011-03-24 13:35:00

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- X-ray observations made by the Suzaku observatory provide the clearest picture to date of the size, mass and chemical content of a nearby cluster of galaxies. The study also provides the first direct evidence that million-degree gas clouds are tightly gathered in the cluster's outskirts. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) Suzaku is sponsored by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) with...

2011-03-24 14:15:00

ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory has spotted extremely hot matter just a millisecond before it plunges into the oblivion of a black hole. But is it really doomed? These unique observations suggest that some of the matter may be making a great escape. No one would want to be so close to a black hole. Just a few hundred kilometers away from its deadly surface, space is a maelstrom of particles and radiation. Vast storms of particles are falling to their doom at close to the speed of...

Latest X-ray astronomy Reference Libraries

2012-03-24 09:55:41

Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center on December 2, 1990 at 1:49 AM EST and landed at Edwards AFB on December 10 at 9:54 PM PST. The shuttle orbited 144 times at an altitude of 190 nautical miles at an inclination of 28.45 degrees and travelled 3.7 million miles. The mission lasted 8 days, 23 hours, 5 minutes, and 8 seconds. The primary objectives were round-the-clock observations of the celestial sphere in ultraviolet and x-ray astronomy with the ASTRO-1 observatory consisting of...

2014-01-12 00:00:00

Sample Entry: Astronomy is the scientific study of stars, planets, comets, galaxies, and other phenomena that occur outside Earth's atmosphere (e.g. cosmic radiation). Astronomy deals with the evolution, physics, chemical makeup, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects, and also the formation of the universe. The word Astronomy comes from the Greek words astron (meaning "star") and nomos (meaning "law"). Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences. Since the dawn of man, people always...

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 04:45:43

X-ray Pulsar -- This dramatic artist's vision shows a city-sized neutron star centered in a disk of hot plasma drawn from its enfeebled red companion star. Ravenously accreting material from the disk, the neutron star spins faster and faster emitting powerful particle beams and pulses of X-rays as it rotates 400 times a second. Could such a bizarre and inhospitable star system really exist in our Universe? Based on data from the orbiting Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite,...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gamma-Ray Burst -- In astronomy, Gamma-ray bursters (GRBs) are flashes of gamma rays that last from seconds to hours, the longer ones being followed by several days of X-ray afterglow. They occur at random positions in the sky several times each day. They are now believed to result from tremendous explosions in far away galaxies, during the creation of a black hole from a dying star or two colliding neutron stars. The black hole, surrounded by a rotating disk of matter falling into it,...

More Articles (8 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.