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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)


Tycho in 60 Seconds

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Narrator (April Hobart, CXC): Over four hundred years ago, the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe studied the explosion of a star that later became known as Tycho's supernova. A look at Tycho in X-rays by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows that the supernova remnant contains an expanding bubble of superheated debris, which sits within an even more rapidly moving shell of extremely high-energy electrons. A very long Chandra observation of Tycho totaling about a million seconds of time, has uncovered new and unexpected structures in this aftermath of the star’s explosion. A series of stripes in the remnant provides novel evidence for particles that have been accelerated to extremely high energies. This is an important clue to better understanding the object that Tycho Brahe first saw back in 1572.

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