Was Kepler's Supernova Unusually Powerful?

Sep
11

Kepler's Supernova Remnant

In 1604, a new star appeared in the night sky that was much brighter than Jupiter and dimmed over several weeks. This event was witnessed by sky watchers including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler. Centuries later, the debris from this exploded star is known as the Kepler supernova remnant.

Astronomers have long studied the Kepler supernova remnant and tried to determine exactly what happened when the star exploded to create it. New analysis of a long observation from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is providing more clues. This analysis suggests that the supernova explosion was not only more powerful, but might have also occurred at a greater distance, than previously thought.

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Going Back to School

Sep
05

This week marks the return to school for most kids (if they haven't been there for a week or more already). The post-Labor Day week got us thinking about school and education as it relates to Chandra and X-ray astrophysics.

Solar System

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A Surprisingly Bright Superbubble

Aug
30

NGC 1929

This composite image shows a superbubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, located about 160,000 light years from Earth. Many new stars, some of them very massive, are forming in the star cluster NGC 1929, which is embedded in the nebula N44. The massive stars produce intense radiation, expel matter at high speeds, and race through their evolution to explode as supernovas. The winds and supernova shock waves carve out huge cavities called superbubbles in the surrounding gas. X-rays from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue) show hot regions created by these winds and shocks, while infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope (red) outline where the dust and cooler gas are found. The optical light from the 2.2m Max-Planck-ESO telescope (yellow) in Chile shows where ultraviolet radiation from hot, young stars is causing gas in the nebula to glow.

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"Here, There, and Everywhere" Makes its Debut

Aug
27

Today marks the launch of a new project – both physically and virtually. We are so happy to announce that "Here, There, and Everywhere" (known by the acronym of HTE) has officially debuted.

You may have heard this question, or asked it yourself: why bother studying things that are millions or billions of miles away in space? HTE, among other things, is a project that addresses that question.

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Remembering the Original Chandra

Aug
22

On August 21, 1995, the field of astrophysics lost one of its greats. Seventeen years ago this week, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar passed away. Chandra, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the 20th century.

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Q&A with Michael McDonald

Aug
08

For more background about the Phoenix Cluster, including how it was discovered and the meaning of its adopted name, we have interviewed the first author Michael McDonald. Michael has recently started a Hubble postdoctoral Fellowship at the Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received Bachelor degrees and a Masters of Science from Queen’s University in Canada, and a PhD from the University of Maryland.

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Astrophysics and the Olympics

Aug
07

It's not every day that we can mention "Chandra" and the "Olympics" in the same sentence, but today we can. That's because Stacie Powell, who will compete in the 10-meter platform diving competition for Great Britain at the London Olympics beginning today, is also working on her Ph.D. in astrophysics.

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X-Rays Discovered from Young Supernova Remnant

Jul
30

M83

Over fifty years ago, a supernova was discovered in M83, a spiral galaxy about 15 million light years from Earth. Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to make the first detection of X-rays emitted by the debris from this explosion.

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Intrepid Meets the Enterprise

Jul
26

Last week, the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum welcomed a very unusual guest (who will be staying quite a while): the Space Shuttle Enterprise. The Intrepid, which is located on the Hudson River in New York City, will be the Enterprise's new home now that the Shuttle program has officially ended.

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LUCKY 13

Jul
23

A little bit after midnight (12:31 am EDT to be exact) on July 23, 1999, the Space Shuttle Columbia lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Onboard was what was then the largest payload ever carried by a Shuttle: the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Space Shuttle Columbia

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