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More Images of 47 Tuc W
Click for large jpg
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Click for large jpg
Jpeg, Tif, PS
Illustration of Shock Wave Around Millisecond Pulsar
In binary star systems such as 47 Tuc W, which contains a normal star and an extremely rapidly rotating neutron star called a millisecond pulsar (MSP), matter is pulled from the normal star by the gravitational tug of the more massive neutron star. In contrast to X-ray binary systems, this matter (yellow streamer in illustration) does not form a hot disk around the neutron star. Instead, it is pushed back by the pressure of a wind of fast-moving particles (blue) produced by the pulsar. The resulting shock wave (white) is a source of high-energy X-rays.

(Illustration: NASA/CfA/S.Bogdanov)

Chandra X-ray Image of 47 Tuc W
This Chandra X-ray image shows the full-field view of the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae. Located within this image is 47 Tuc W, a double, or binary star system consisting of a normal star and a pulsar. The pulsar rotates every 2.35 milliseconds. Chandra's image of 47 Tucanae shows about 20 millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster, but 47 Tuc W stands out from the crowd because it produces more high-energy X-rays than the others.

(Credit: NASA/CXC/Northwestern U./C.Heinke et al.)
Scale: Image is 2.5 arcmin per side

Ground-based Optical Image of 47 Tucanae
This optical image of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae was taken with the European Southern Observatory's Danish 1.54-m Telescope at La Silla, Chile.

Scale: Image is 6.6 x 8 arcmin.
(Credit: ESO/Danish 1.54-m/W. Keel et al.)

Chandra X-ray Image with Scale Bar
Scalebar: 0.5 arcmin

(Credit: NASA/CXC/Northwestern U./C.Heinke et al.)

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