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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)


Rosette Nebula in 60 Seconds

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Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): This spectacular image shows the Rosette star formation region, which is located about 5,000 light years from Earth. X-rays from the Chandra X-ray Observatory reveal hundreds of young stars clustered in the center of the image and additional fainter clusters on either side. Optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey and the Kitt Peak National Observatory show large areas of gas and dust, including giant pillars that remain behind after intense radiation from massive stars has eroded the more diffuse gas. The combination of the X-ray and optical data lead astronomers to believe that stars are still forming in the central cluster of the Rosette, known as NGC 2237. Astronomers are also using these data to piece together the history of this gorgeous region. The Rosette Nebula has long been a favorite target of amateur astronomers in the constellation the Unicorn. The wispy colorful structures in the optical data can sometimes be seen by small telescopes from the ground here on Earth.

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