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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)

CoRoT-2A in 60 Seconds

Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): In recent years, astronomers have found hundreds of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun. New Chandra observations of one of these planets reveal that it is in a fairly dire situation. The Chandra data provide evidence that the star in this system, known as CoRoT-2a, is blasting a planet that is in an extremely close orbit around it with very powerful X-rays. These X-rays are a hundred thousand times more intense than those that the Earth receives from the Sun, and are causing some serious damage. Astronomers estimate that this high-energy radiation is evaporating about 5 million tons of matter every second from the planet. Future observations with Chandra and other telescopes should reveal more details about what’s going on in this system and perhaps others like it. In the meantime, let’s be happy that the Earth isn't anything like this fried planet.

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