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Normal Stars & Star Clusters
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Normal Stars & Star Clusters
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Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Chandra Images
Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Animations & Video: Normal Stars & Star Clusters
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Click for high-resolution animation
1. Chandra's Archives Come to Life
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only With closed-captions (at YouTube)

Every year, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory looks at hundreds of objects throughout space to help expand our understanding of the Universe. Ultimately, these data are stored in the Chandra Data Archive, an electronic repository that provides access to these unique X-ray findings for anyone who would like to explore them. With the passing of Chandra's 15th anniversary, in operation since August 26, 1999, the archive continues to grow as each successive year adds to the enormous and invaluable dataset.

To celebrate Chandra's decade and a half in space, and to honor October as American Archive Month, a variety of objects have been selected from Chandra's archive. Each of the new images we have produced combines Chandra data with those from other telescopes. This technique of creating "multiwavelength" images allows scientists and the public to see how X-rays fit with data of other types of light, such as optical, radio, and infrared. As scientists continue to make new discoveries with the telescope, the burgeoning archive will allow us to see the high-energy Universe as only Chandra can.
[Runtime: 01:27]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Learn About Stars
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only With closed-captions (at YouTube)

Stars appear to be permanent fixtures of the night sky. However, stars are like people. They are born, live a lifetime, and ultimately die.
Chandra and other X-ray telescopes focus on the high-energy action of stellar drama....
...sudden outbursts on the turbulent surfaces of stars,
...gale-force outflows of gas from hot, luminous stars,
...and awesome shock waves generated by supernova explosions.
See stellar evolution through Chandra's eyes.
[Runtime: 1.31]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
3. X-ray and Optical Images of CoRoT-2A
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence shows images of a nearby star named CoRoT-2a. The composite image contains X-rays from Chandra (purple) of CoRoT-2a along with optical and infrared data of the field of view in which the star is found. Not seen in these images -- but still detectable in the data -- is a planet known as CoRoT-2b in an extremely close orbit around the star. The Chandra data indicate that the planet is being blasted by X-rays with such intensity that some 5 million tons of material are being eroded from CoRoT-2a every second.
[Runtime: 00:28]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. Images of J144547-5931 and J144701-5919
QuicktimeMPEG Data from Chandra and Spitzer of a region near the Galactic plane have been combined to track down some of the Milky Way's heaviest stars, which can be very elusive. The outlined boxes contain darkened Spitzer data and a bright Chandra X-ray source (blue) that coincides with a strong infrared signal. These are giant stars thought to be at least 25 times more massive than the Sun. They are very bright in X-rays because high-speed winds from their surfaces collide with material, creating shock waves that generate temperatures up to 100 million degrees.
[Runtime: 0.23]
(X-ray: NASA/U. of Sydney/G.Anderson et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Images of Eta Carinae
QuicktimeMPEG The sequence begins with the Hubble's optical view of Eta Carinae, showing two lobes of gas and dust most likely ejected from the star in an eruption observed the 1840s. The view then changes to include Chandra's X-ray data in yellow. The X-ray emission shows where material previously ejected by Eta Carinae rams into nearby gas and dust, heating gas to temperatures in excess of a million degrees.
[Runtime: 0:06]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/GSFC/M.Corcoran et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Different Views of the Eagle Nebula (M16)
QuicktimeMPEG The Eagle Nebula (aka, the "Pillars of Creation") looks very different when viewed through three of NASA's orbiting observatories. The infrared image from the Spitzer Space Telescope and the famous Hubble Space Telescope image show the gas and dust of this star-forming region. The X-ray image from Chandra allows astronomers to peer through the obscuring material, and shows that the Eagle Nebula may be past its prime in terms of making stars. One young star is found inside the pillars, which scientists estimate to be 4 or 5 times more massive than the Sun.
[Runtime: 0.16]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/U.Colorado/Linsky et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/ASU/J.Hester & P.Scowen; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSC/N.Flagey & A.Noriega-Crespo)

Related Chandra Images:

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7. Multi-wavelength Views of NGC 3576
QuicktimeMPEG Because NGC 3576 is very dense, many of the young, massive stars visible in the Chandra image have previously been hidden from view. A cluster of stars is visible in the infrared data, but not enough young, massive stars have been identified to explain the brightness of the nebula. Astronomers have found a large flow of ionized gas in radio observations and huge bubbles in optical images that extend out from the edge of the HII region. Taken with the X-ray data, this information hints that powerful winds are emerging from this hidden cluster.
[Runtime: 0.24]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/L.Townsley et al.; Optical: DSS; Infrared: MSX)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Chandra and Spitzer Images of Cepheus B
QuicktimeMPEG Astronomers observed an object known as Cepheus B, which is a cloud of molecular hydrogen about 2,400 light years from Earth. X-ray data from Chandra allowed the researchers to pick out the young stars within around Cepheus B. Infrared emission detected by Spitzer revealed whether the young stars had disks around them in which stars may form. By combining the two sets of data, astronomers found that stars in this object are being triggered to form by some external force, such as radiation from a massive star or a shock from a nearby supernova.
[Runtime: 0:08]
(X-ray (NASA/CXC/PSU/K. Getman et al.); IR (NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J. Wang et al.))

Related Chandra Images:

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9. The Evolution of a Globular Cluster
QuicktimeMPEG Shown here is a sequence of artist's impressions explaining the evolution of a globular cluster. The first graphic shows a globular cluster forming, where single stars are shown in red and double stars in blue. A globular cluster then passes through three main phases of evolution, corresponding to adolescence, middle age, and old age, as shown in the next three graphics. These "ages" refer to the evolutionary state of the cluster, not the physical ages of the individual stars. In the adolescent phase, the stars near the center of the cluster collapse inward (in more technical parlance this is called "core contraction"). Middle age ("binary burning") refers to a phase when the interactions of double stars near the center of the cluster prevents it from further collapse (the stars in green are those currently undergoing interactions). Finally, old age sets in after the last remaining double star near the center of the cluster is ejected, and the center of the cluster collapses inwards ("core collapse"). The final graphic shows a period of extended old age, when the central region of the cluster expands and contracts ("gravothermal oscillations) after new double stars are formed. New Chandra results suggest that most globular clusters are in adolescence and a few are in middle age. It was previously thought that most clusters are in middle age and a few are in old age.
[Runtime: 0.19]
View Stills
(Northwestern/W.Finney)

Related Chandra Images:

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10. 47 Tucanae Animation
QuicktimeMPEG This animation zooms from ground-based optical views around the southern constellation of Tucana, to a Hubble Space Telescope image of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, and finally rests on the X-ray image of the cluster's core taken with Chandra.
[Runtime: 0:22]
View Stills
(STScI/Honeywell/CXC/B.Preston)

Related Chandra Images:

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