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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)


G1.9+0.3 in 60 Seconds

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Narrator (Megan Watzke, CXC) About a hundred and forty years ago, the light from a supernova explosion in our galaxy reached the Earth, but no one saw it. That’s because, as this infrared version shows, the center of the Milky Way contains thick bands of gas and dust, making it impossible for astronomers to detect this explosion using optical telescopes. However, the debris field created by the supernova shines brightly in x-ray and radio wavelengths. A combination of data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in space and the Very Large Array of radio dishes in New Mexico allowed astronomers to identify this object and nail down its age. The discovery of this supernova remnant helps astronomers better understand how often these stellar time-bombs go off in our galaxy.

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