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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)


E0102 in 60 Seconds

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Narrator (Megan Watzke, CXC): The supernova remnant known as E0102 was one of the targets that Chandra first observed after its launch in 1999. Now, some ten years later, new X-ray data from Chandra have been used to produce this spectacular image. E0102 is located about 190 thousand light-years away in the Small Magellanic Cloud, which is one of the nearest galaxies to the Milky Way. It was created when a star that was much more massive than the sun, exploded, an event that would have been visible from the southern hemisphere on Earth over one thousand years ago. The information captured in this new image, which includes optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope, reveals new clues about the geometry of the remnant. This in turn helps astronomers better understand the details of the explosion that created the remnant we see today.

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