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Recent Podcast
Tour of Sagittarius A
Tour of Sagittarius A
One of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics today is figuring out where mysterious particles called neutrinos come from. (2014-11-13)


Chandra's Extraordinary Universe

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Since 1999, the Chandra X-ray Observatory has transformed our view of the high-energy universe with its ability to make exquisite X-ray images of star clusters, supernova remnants, galactic eruptions, and collisions between clusters of galaxies. Chandra has probed the geometry of space-time around black holes, traced the dispersal of calcium and other elements by supernovas, and revealed that whirling neutron stars only twelve miles in diameter can generate streams of high-energy particles that extend for light years. Chandra has found cosmic generators millions of times more powerful than neutron stars - rapidly spinning, supergiant black holes in the centers of galaxies. There, energy from the rotation of the black hole and surrounding gas is converted into powerful jets and winds that can influence the destiny of an entire galaxy. On an even greater scale, Chandra has helped to confirm that galaxies and the universe are dominated by other forms of darkness, called dark matter and dark energy. In the distant past, dark matter pulled material together to form galaxies and galaxy clusters, but now, it appears that dark energy, which may be a much different phenomenon, has stopped the process and is causing the universe to expand at an ever-increasing rate. The nature of dark matter and dark energy is still a deep mystery. As Chandra expands the realm of the known, it continues to raise new questions and point the way for future exploration.

Credit: NASA/CXC

Image and motion graphic credits: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart; NASA/STScI & G.Bacon; NASA/JPL-Caltech & R.Hurt; ESA/Hubble, IAU & ESO (M. Kornmesser); NASA; NASA/WMAP; NASA/GSFC SVS/D.Berry


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