Tagged: Chandra X-ray Observatory Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 9:48 pm on August 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, ,   

    From NASA Chandra: “M101: A Pinwheel in Many Colors” 

    NASA Chandra

    A new composite of M101 (aka, the “Pinwheel Galaxy”) contains data from four of NASA’s telescopes in space. X-rays from Chandra (purple) show the hottest and most energetic areas of this spiral galaxy. Infrared data from Spitzer (red) and optical emission from Hubble (yellow) trace the dust and starlight respectively. Ultraviolet light from GALEX (blue) shows the output from young stars.

    comp
    Composite

    xray
    X-ray

    infra
    Infrared

    opt
    Optical

    uv
    UV

    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; IR & UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI
    Release Date May 24, 2012

    chart
    The Electromagnetic Spectrum. Wavelengths and energies from gamma rays to radio.

    This image of the Pinwheel Galaxy, or also known as M101, combines data in the infrared, visible, ultraviolet and X-rays from four of NASA’s space-based telescopes. This multi-spectral view shows that both young and old stars are evenly distributed along M101’s tightly-wound spiral arms. Such composite images allow astronomers to see how features in one part of the spectrum match up with those seen in other parts. It is like seeing with a regular camera, an ultraviolet camera, night-vision goggles and X-ray vision, all at the same time.

    The Pinwheel Galaxy is in the constellation of Ursa Major (also known as the Big Dipper). It is about 70% larger than our own Milky Way Galaxy, with a diameter of about 170,000 light years, and sits at a distance of 21 million light years from Earth. This means that the light we’re seeing in this image left the Pinwheel Galaxy about 21 million years ago – many millions of years before humans ever walked the Earth.

    The hottest and most energetic areas in this composite image are shown in purple, where the Chandra X-ray Observatory observed the X-ray emission from exploded stars, million-degree gas, and material colliding around black holes.”

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 3:21 pm on August 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, ,   

    From NASA Chandra- “Henize 2-10: A Surprisingly Close Look at the Early Cosmos” 

    NASA Chandra

    New data from Chandra and the Very Large Array suggest that black hole growth may precede the growth of bulges in some galaxies. Henize 2-10 is a dwarf starburst galaxy about 30 million light years from Earth with properties similar to those in the early Universe. X-ray and radio data indicate a black hole at the center of Henize 2-10 with a mass about one million times that of the Sun.

    comp
    Composite

    xray
    X-ray

    opt
    Optical

    radio
    Radio
    Credit X-ray (NASA/CXC/Virginia/A.Reines et al); Radio (NRAO/AUI/NSF); Optical (NASA/STScI)
    Release Date January 10, 2011

    The combined observations from multiple telescopes of Henize 2-10, a dwarf starburst galaxy located about 30 million light years from Earth, has provided astronomers with a detailed new look at how galaxy and black hole formation may have occured in the early Universe. This image shows optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope in red, green and blue, X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in purple, and radio data from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array in yellow. A compact X-ray source at the center of the galaxy coincides with a radio source, giving evidence for an actively growing supermassive black hole with a mass of about one million times that of the Sun (please roll your mouse over the image for the location of the black hole).

    Stars are forming in Henize 2-10 at a prodigious rate, giving the star clusters in this galaxy their blue appearance. This combination of a burst of star formation and a massive black hole is analogous to conditions in the early Universe. Since Henize 2-10 does not contain a significant bulge of stars in its center, these results show that supermassive black hole growth may precede the growth of bulges in galaxies. This differs from the relatively nearby Universe where the growth of galaxy bulges and supermassive black holes appears to occur in parallel.

    A paper describing these results was published online in Nature on January 9th, 2011 by Amy Reines and Gregory Sivakoff of the University of Virginia, Kelsey Johnson of the University of Virginia and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia and Crystal Brogan also of NRAO in Virgina.

    SAee the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 12:13 pm on August 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory,   

    From NASA Chandra- “NGC 1232: Dwarf Galaxy Caught Ramming Into a Large Spiral” 

    NASA Chandra

    Observations with Chandra have revealed a giant cloud of superheated gas in a galaxy about 60 million light years from Earth. Because this gas is about 6 million degrees, it only glows in X-ray light. A collision between a dwarf galaxy and a much larger galaxy called NGC 1232 is the likely cause of this gas cloud.A new composite of X-rays (purple) from Chandra and optical data (blue and white) shows the scene of the collision.

    Comp
    Composite

    xray
    X-ray

    Opt
    Optical
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Huntingdon Inst. for X-ray Astronomy/G.Garmire, Optical: ESO/VLT
    Release Date August 14, 2013

    Observations with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory have revealed a massive cloud of multimillion-degree gas in a galaxy about 60 million light years from Earth. The hot gas cloud is likely caused by a collision between a dwarf galaxy and a much larger galaxy called NGC 1232. If confirmed, this discovery would mark the first time such a collision has been detected only in X-rays, and could have implications for understanding how galaxies grow through similar collisions.

    An image combining X-rays and optical light shows the scene of this collision. The impact between the dwarf galaxy and the spiral galaxy caused a shock wave – akin to a sonic boom on Earth – that generated hot gas with a temperature of about 6 million degrees. Chandra X-ray data, in purple, show the hot gas has a comet-like appearance, caused by the motion of the dwarf galaxy. Optical data from the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope reveal the spiral galaxy in blue and white. X-ray point sources have been removed from this image to emphasize the diffuse emission.

    Near the head of the comet-shaped X-ray emission is a region containing several very optically bright stars and enhanced X-ray emission. Star formation may have been triggered by the shock wave, producing bright, massive stars. In that case X-ray emission would be generated by massive star winds and by the remains of supernova explosions as massive stars evolve.

    The mass of the entire gas cloud is uncertain because it cannot be determined from the two-dimensional image whether the hot gas is concentrated in a thin pancake or distributed over a large, spherical region. If the gas is a pancake, the mass is equivalent to forty thousand Suns. If it is spread out uniformly, the mass could be much larger, about three million times as massive as the Sun. This range agrees with values for dwarf galaxies in the Local Group containing the Milky Way.

    The hot gas should continue to glow in X-rays for tens to hundreds of millions of years, depending on the geometry of the collision. The collision itself should last for about 50 million years. Therefore, searching for large regions of hot gas in galaxies might be a way to estimate the frequency of collisions with dwarf galaxies and to understand how important such events are to galaxy growth.

    An alternative explanation of the X-ray emission is that the hot gas cloud could have been produced by supernovas and hot winds from large numbers of massive stars, all located on one side of the galaxy. The lack of evidence of expected radio, infrared, or optical features argues against this possibility.

    A paper by Gordon Garmire of the Huntingdon Institute for X-ray Astronomy in Huntingdon, PA describing these results is available online and was published in the June 10th, 2013 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.”

    See the full article here, with more images and data.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 7:21 pm on August 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, , ,   

    From NASA Chandra- “Sagittarius A* and J144701-5919: Peering Into The Heart of Darkness” 

    NASA Chandra

    The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way is known as Sagittarius A* (or Sgr A*, for short). Astronomers have known for a long time that Sgr A* is relatively quiet compared to other black holes of similar size. A new theoretical model based on a very long Chandra observation of the region may explain the feeble consumption by Sgr A*. The deep Chandra image also reveals other interesting features of this region including supernova remnants and mysterious filaments.

    sgr a
    Credit NASA/CXC/MIT/F.K. Baganoff et al.
    Release Date January 5, 2010

    Astronomers have long known that the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, known as Sagittarius A* (or Sgr A* for short), is a particularly poor eater. The fuel for this black hole comes from powerful winds blown off dozens of massive young stars that are concentrated nearby. These stars are located a relatively large distance away from Sgr A*, where the gravity of the black hole is weak, and so their high-velocity winds are difficult for the black hole to capture and swallow. Scientists have previously calculated that Sgr A* should consume only about 1% of the fuel carried in the winds.

    However, it now appears that Sgr A* consumes even less than expected – ingesting only about one percent of that one percent. Why does it consume so little? The answer may be found in a new theoretical model developed using data from a very deep exposure made by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This model considers the flow of energy between two regions around the black hole: an inner region that is close to the so-called event horizon (the boundary beyond which even light cannot escape), and an outer region that includes the black hole’s fuel source – the young stars – extending up to a million times farther out. Collisions between particles in the hot inner region transfer energy to particles in the cooler outer region via a process called conduction. This, in turn, provides additional outward pressure that makes nearly all of the gas in the outer region flow away from the black hole. The model appears to explain well the extended shape of hot gas detected around Sgr A* in X-rays as well as features seen in other wavelengths.

    This Chandra image of Sgr A* and the surrounding region is based on data from a series of observations lasting a total of about one million seconds, or almost two weeks. Such a deep observation has given scientists an unprecedented view of the supernova remnant near Sgr A* – known as Sgr A East – and the lobes of hot gas extending for a dozen light years on either side of the black hole. These lobes provide evidence for powerful eruptions occurring several times over the last ten thousand years.

    The image also contains several mysterious X-ray filaments, some of which may be huge magnetic structures interacting with streams of energetic electrons produced by rapidly spinning neutron stars. Such features are known as pulsar wind nebulas.

    The new model of Sgr A* was presented at the 215th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January 2010 by Roman Shcherbakov and Robert Penna of Harvard University and Frederick K. Baganoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 6:20 pm on August 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, , ,   

    From NASA Chandra- “NGC 7793: Black Hole Blows Big Bubble” 

    NASA Chandra

    A microquasar has been discovered in the nearby galaxy NGC 7793. In these systems, a stellar-mass black hole is being fed by a companion star. The black hole in the microquasar is generating two powerful jets, which are blowing outward and creating huge bubbles of hot gas. Microquasars are miniature versions of powerful quasars in distant galaxies and therefore useful to study.

    ngc
    Credit X-ray (NASA/CXC/Univ of Strasbourg/M. Pakull et al); Optical (ESO/VLT/Univ of Strasbourg/M. Pakull et al); H-alpha (NOAO/AURA/NSF/CTIO 1.5m)
    Release Date July 07, 2010

    This composite image shows a powerful microquasar containing a black hole in the outskirts of the nearby (12.7 million light years) galaxy NGC 7793. The large image contains data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory in red, green and blue, optical data from the Very Large Telescope in light blue, and optical emission by hydrogen (“H-alpha”) from the CTIO 1.5-m telescope in gold.

    The upper inset shows a close-up of the X-ray image of the microquasar, which is a system containing a stellar-mass black hole being fed by a companion star. Gas swirling toward the black hole forms a disk around the black hole. Twisted magnetic fields in the disk generate strong electromagnetic forces that propel some of the gas away from the disk at high speeds in two jets, creating a huge bubble of hot gas about 1,000 light years across. The faint green/blue source near the middle of the upper inset image corresponds to the position of the black hole, while the red/yellow (upper right) and yellow (lower left) sources correspond to spots where the jets are plowing into surrounding gas and heating it. The nebula produced by energy from the jets is clearly seen in the H-alpha image shown in the lower inset.

    A paper describing this work [was] published in the July 8th, 2010, issue of Nature. The authors are Manfred Pakull from the University of Strasbourg in France, Roberto Soria from University College London, and Christian Motch, also from the University of Strasbourg.”

    See the full article here.

    ng
    NG7793, another view, this one from Spitzer

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 9:15 pm on August 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, ,   

    From NASA Chandra: “NGC 6872: Galaxy Collision Switches on Black Hole” 

    NASA Chandra

    NGC 6872 and IC 4970 are two galaxies in the process of merging. IC 4970 is the small galaxy at the top of the image that, thanks to Chandra and Spitzer data, is shown to contain an active supermassive black hole. It was puzzling where IC 4970 got its fuel supply since observations reveal a lack of material surrounding the black hole. The new results show IC 4970 has stripped cold gas from NGC 6872 and is using it to feed its growing black hole.

    comp
    Composite

    xray
    X-ray

    infra
    Infrared

    opt
    Optical

    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Machacek; Optical: ESO/VLT; Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech
    Release Date December 10, 2009
    Distance Estimate About 180 million light years

    This composite image of data from three different telescopes shows an ongoing collision between two galaxies, NGC 6872 and IC 4970 . X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is shown in purple, while Spitzer Space Telescope’s infrared data is red and optical data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) is colored red, green and blue.

    Astronomers think that supermassive black holes exist at the center of most galaxies. Not only do the galaxies and black holes seem to co-exist, they are apparently inextricably linked in their evolution. To better understand this symbiotic relationship, scientists have turned to rapidly growing black holes – so-called active galactic nucleus (AGN) – to study how they are affected by their galactic environments.

    The latest data from Chandra and Spitzer show that IC 4970, the small galaxy at the top of the image, contains an AGN, but one that is heavily cocooned in gas and dust. This means in optical light telescopes, like the VLT, there is little to see. X-rays and infrared light , however, can penetrate this veil of material and reveal the light show that is generated as material heats up before falling onto the black hole (seen as a bright point-like source).

    Despite this obscuring gas and dust around IC 4970, the Chandra data suggest that there is not enough hot gas in IC 4970 to fuel the growth of the AGN. Where, then, does the food supply for this black hole come from? The answer lies with its partner galaxy, NGC 6872. These two galaxies are in the process of undergoing a collision, and the gravitational attraction from IC 4970 has likely pulled over some of NGC 6872’s deep reservoir of cold gas (seen prominently in the Spitzer data), providing a new fuel supply to power the giant black hole.”

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 2:54 pm on August 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, ,   

    From NASA Chandra: “History of X-Ray Astronomy” 

    NASA Chandra

    How do X-ray telescopes differ from optical telescopes?

    X-rays do not reflect off mirrors the same way that visible light does. Because of their high-energy, X-ray photons penetrate into the mirror in much the same way that bullets slam into a wall. Likewise, just as bullets ricochet when they hit a wall at a grazing angle, so too will X-rays ricochet off mirrors (see diagram below). These properties mean that X-ray telescopes must be very different from optical telescopes. The mirrors have to be precisely shaped and aligned nearly parallel to incoming X-rays. Thus they look more like barrels than the familiar dish shape of optical telescopes.

    The first imaging X-ray telescope was made by a team of scientists under the direction of Riccardo Giacconi at American Science and Engineering in Cambridge, MA. It was flown on a small sounding rocket in 1963 and made crude images of hot spots in the upper atmosphere of the Sun.

    This telescope was about the same diameter and length as the optical telescope Galileo used in 1610. Over a period of 380 years, optical telescopes improved in sensitivity by 100 million times from Galileo’s telescope to the Hubble Space Telescope. Remarkably, Chandra represents a leap of 100 million in sensitivity, yet it took only 36 years to achieve!

    view

    Why are X-ray observatories in space?

    The building and operation of an X-ray observatory is a marvel of modern technology and ingenuity. Engineers, technicians and scientists design and build large, curving mirrors that can be nested inside one another to increase the total reflecting area of the telescope. The mirrors focus X-ray photons onto state-of-the-art detectors which record the direction and in some cases, the energy of the photons.

    Because the Earth’s atmosphere absorbs X-rays, X-ray observatories must be placed high above the Earth’s surface. This means that the ultra-precise mirrors and detectors, together with the sophisticated electronics that conveys the information back to Earth must be able to withstand the rigors of a rocket launch, and operate in the hostile environment of space.

    X-Ray Instruments Detect Neutron Stars and Black Holes

    The first hint that cosmic X-rays exist came in 1949, when radiation detectors aboard rockets were briefly carried above the atmosphere where they detected X-rays coming from the Sun. It took more than a decade before a greatly improved detector discovered X-rays coming from sources beyond the solar system.

    The most important X-ray astronomy mission of the present decade is NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched on July 23, 1999. This telescope contains four sets of nested mirrors and is the premier X-ray observatory to date. It can detect sources more than twice as far away and produce images with five times greater detail. The mirrors have been polished to a smoothness of a few atoms. If the surface of the Earth were as smooth as the Chandra mirrors, the largest mountain would be less than 2 meters (7 feet) tall!
    View the schematic image
    Watch the animation

    X-ray telescopes have a different design from optical telescopes because X-rays will reflect off mirrors only if they strike them at grazing angles. Two reflections are used to focus the X-rays to a point.

    The area of an X-ray telescope can be increased by nesting the mirrors inside one another.”

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 4:06 pm on July 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, , ,   

    From NASA Chandra: “Chemistry and the Universe” 

    NASA Chandra

    “Chemistry, the study of the intricate dances and bondings of low-energy electrons to form the molecules that make up the world we live in, may seem far removed from the thermonuclear heat in the interiors of stars and the awesome power of supernovas. Yet, there is a fundamental connection between them.

    To illustrate this connection, the familiar periodic table of elements—found in virtually every chemistry class—has been adapted to show how astronomers see the chemical Universe. What leaps out of this table is that the simplest elements, hydrogen and helium, are far and away the most abundant.

    PeriodicTable2

    The Universe started out with baryonic matter in its simplest form, hydrogen. In just the first 20 minutes or so after the Big Bang, about 25% of the hydrogen was converted to helium. In essence, the chemical history of the Universe can be divided into two mainphases: one lasting 20 minutes, and the rest lasting for 13.7 billion years and counting.

    After that initial one third of an hour, the expanding Universe cooled below the point where nuclear fusion could operate. This meant that no evolution of matter could occur again until stars were formed a few million years later. Then the buildup of elements heavier than helium could begin.

    univ
    The chemical composition of the Universe has been constantly changing throughout its 13.7 billion year history. Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

    Stars evolve through a sequence of stages in which nuclear fusion reactions in their central regions build up helium and other elements .The energy supplied by fusion reactions creates the pressure needed to hold the star up against gravity. Winds of gas escaping from stars distribute some of this processed matter into space in a relatively gentle manner and supernovas do it violently. See the below image.

    uni

    As the enrichment of the interstellar and intergalactic gas has proceeded over vast stretches of space and time, the chemistry of the cosmos has become richer, too. Subsequent generations of stars have formed from interstellar gas enriched in heavy elements. Our Sun, Solar System, and indeed the existence of life on Earth are direct results of this long chain of stellar birth, death, and rebirth. In this way, the evolution of matter, stars and galaxies are all inextricably tied together and so too are astronomy and chemistry.”

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 4:14 pm on July 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, ,   

    From NASA Chandra: “NASA’s Chandra Sees Eclipsing Planet in X-rays for First Time” 

    NASA Chandra

    “For the first time since exoplanets, or planets around stars other than the sun, were discovered almost 20 years ago, X-ray observations have detected an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star.

    pla
    This graphic depicts HD 189733b, the first exoplanet caught passing in front of its parent star in X-rays.
    Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/K.Poppenhaeger et al;

    An advantageous alignment of a planet and its parent star in the system HD 189733, which is 63 light-years from Earth, enabled NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Space Agency’s XMM Newton Observatory to observe a dip in X-ray intensity as the planet transited the star.

    ‘Thousands of planet candidates have been seen to transit in only optical light,’ said Katja Poppenhaeger of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., who led a new study to be published in the Aug. 10 edition of The Astrophysical Journal. ‘Finally being able to study one in X-rays is important because it reveals new information about the properties of an exoplanet.’

    The team used Chandra to observe six transits and data from XMM Newton observations of one.

    The planet, known as HD 189733b, is a hot Jupiter, meaning it is similar in size to Jupiter in our solar system but in very close orbit around its star. HD 189733b is more than 30 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun. It orbits the star once every 2.2 days.

    HD 189733b is the closest hot Jupiter to Earth, which makes it a prime target for astronomers who want to learn more about this type of exoplanet and the atmosphere around it. They have used NASA’s Kepler space telescope to study it at optical wavelengths, and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to confirm it is blue in color as a result of the preferential scattering of blue light by silicate particles in its atmosphere.

    The study with Chandra and XMM Newton has revealed clues to the size of the planet’s atmosphere. The spacecraft saw light decreasing during the transits. The decrease in X-ray light was three times greater than the corresponding decrease in optical light.

    ‘The X-ray data suggest there are extended layers of the planet’s atmosphere that are transparent to optical light but opaque to X-rays,’ said co-author Jurgen Schmitt of Hamburger Sternwarte in Hamburg, Germany. ‘However, we need more data to confirm this idea.

    The researchers also are learning about how the planet and the star can affect one another.”

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 8:09 pm on July 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra X-ray Observatory, , ,   

    From NASA Chandra: “NGC 604: Wall Divides East and West Sides of Cosmic Metropolis” 

    NASA Chandra

    A new study unveils NGC 604, the largest region of star formation in the nearby galaxy M33, in its first deep, high-resolution view in X-rays. This composite image from Chandra X-ray Observatory data (colored blue), combined with optical light data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red and green), shows a divided neighborhood where some 200 hot, young, massive stars reside.

    comp
    Composite

    xray
    X-ray

    opt
    Optical
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/R. Tuellmann et al.; Optical: NASA/AURA/STScI
    Release Date January 27, 2009

    hubble
    NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides the sharpest view of NGC 604 so far obtained (Wikipedia).

    another
    Another Hubble image

    Throughout the cosmic metropolis, giant bubbles in the cool dust and warm gas are filled with diffuse, multi-million degree gas that emits X-rays. Scientists think these bubbles are generated and heated to X-ray temperatures when powerful stellar winds from the young massive stars collide and push aside the surrounding gas and dust. So, the vacated areas are immediately repopulated with the hotter material seen by Chandra.

    However, there is a difference between the two sides of this bifurcated stellar city. On the western (right) side, the amount of hot gas found in the bubbles corresponds to about 4300 times the mass of the sun. This value and the brightness of the gas in X-rays imply that the western part of NGC 604 is entirely powered by winds from the 200 hot massive stars.

    This result is interesting because previous modeling of other bubbles usually predicted them to be fainter than observed, so that additional heating from supernova remnants is required. The implication is that in this area of NGC 604, none or very few of the massive stars must have exploded as supernovas.

    The situation is different on the eastern (left) side of NGC 604. On this side, the X-ray gas contains 1750 times the mass of the sun and winds from young stars cannot explain the brightness of the X-ray emission. The bubbles on this side appear to be much older and were likely created and powered by young stars and supernovas in the past.

    A similar separation between east and west is seen in the optical results. This implies that a massive wall of gas shields the relatively quiet region in the east from the active star formation in the west.

    This study was led by Ralph Tuellmann of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and was part of a very deep, 16-day long observation of M33 called the Chandra ACIS Survey of M33, or ChASeM33.”

    See the full article here.

    Chandra X-ray Center, Operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 348 other followers

%d bloggers like this: