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Recent Podcast
A Tour of The Big, Bad & Beautiful Universe with Chandra
A Tour of The Big, Bad & Beautiful Universe with Chandra
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, we have released four new images of supernova remnants. These show Chandra's ability to study the remains of supernova explosions, using images that are the sharpest available in X-ray astronomy. The images of the Tycho and G292.0+1.8 supernova remnants show how Chandra can trace the expanding debris of an exploded star. The images show shock waves, similar to sonic booms from a supersonic plane, that travel through space at speeds of millions of miles per hour. The images of the Crab Nebula and 3C58 show the effects of very dense, rapidly spinning neutron stars created when a massive star explodes. These neutron stars can create clouds of high-energy particles that glow brightly in X-rays. The image for G292 shows oxygen (yellow and orange), and other elements such as magnesium (green) and silicon and sulfur (blue) that were forged in the star before it exploded. For the other images, the lower energy X-rays are shown in red and green and the highest energy X-rays are shown in blue. (2014-07-22)


N49 in 60 Seconds

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Narrator (Megan Watzke, CXC) This beautiful image shows N49, which is the aftermath of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Optical data from Hubble shows bright filaments where the shockwave generated by the supernova is interacting with the densest regions in nearby clouds of cool molecular gas. A new long observation from Chandra, equaling over 30 hours of observing time, reveals evidence for a bullet-shaped object that is being blown out of the debris field which is left over from an exploded star. This bullet, which is traveling some 5 million miles per hour, was ejected when the supernova went off and is rich in Silicon, Sulfur and Neon. The detection of this bullet shows that the explosion that destroyed the star was highly asymmetric , and gives clues to how some stars explode.

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