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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)


Kepler's Supernova Remnant in 60 Seconds

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Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): This image of Kepler's supernova remnant shows the expanding ball of debris from a supernova explosion in our galaxy. The supernova itself was seen in 1604 by Johannes Kepler and others. The different colors in the Chandra X-ray data show different energies in the supernova remnant, and optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey shows stars in the field. The Kepler supernova was the thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf. New 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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