Q&A: X-ray Astronomy
Has Chandra been able to improve our knowledge about the total
amount of radiation emitted by neutron stars, such as the one at
the center of the Crab Nebula, and in particular the amount of
radiant energy which now reaches the upper levels of the Earth's
atmosphere from such sources as Chandra has observed in the
Papers are due out soon on the spectrum and intensity of the
Crab Nebula pulsar, but he greatest effect of a nearby
supernova-like event would probably be due to a gamma-ray burst.
These events, which may be due to the explosion of an extremely
massive star (hypernova), release an enormous amount of energy
in X rays and gamma rays. Chandra has observed two or three of
these events in distant galaxies, but the results have not been
published. In a few months, some information may be available.
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