Circinus X-1

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Chandra X-ray
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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.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison/S.Heintz et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Caption: This artist's illustration (main graphic) depicts the jet of relativistic particles blasting out of Circinus X-1, the first extended X-ray jet found to be associated with a neutron star in a binary system. The Chandra image (inset) shows this jet to the upper right, with possible evidence of counter jets to the lower left. The jet in Circinus X-1 is helping astronomers better understand how neutron stars, and not just black holes, can generate these powerful beams of particles.

Scale: Inset is 3 arcmin across.

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory