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  • richardmitnick 12:48 pm on June 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chandra Archive Collection: Banking X-ray Data for the Future, NASA Chandra, October 2015 American Archive Month   

    From Chandra: “Chandra Archive Collection: Banking X-ray Data for the Future” 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    10.8.15 [I missed this the first time around.]
    M.R. Khan

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    To commemorate October as American Archive Month, six new images are being released from the Chandra Data Archive.

    The archive houses the data from Chandra’s observations, making them available for ongoing and future studies.

    In its over 16 years of operation, Chandra has observed thousands of objects across space.

    Archives, in their many forms, save information from today that people will want to access and study in the future. This is a critical function of all archives, but it is especially important when it comes to storing data from today’s modern telescopes.

    NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has collected data for over sixteen years on thousands of different objects throughout the Universe. Ultimately, all of the data goes into an archive and is available to the public.

    To celebrate American Archive Month, we are releasing a collection of new images from the Chandra archive. By combining data from different observation dates, new perspectives of cosmic objects can be created. With archives like those from Chandra and other major observatories, such vistas will be available for future exploration.

    X-ray & Infrared Images of W44
    Also known as G34.7-0.4, W44 is an expanding supernova remnant that is interacting with dense interstellar material that surrounds it. X-rays from Chandra (blue) show that hot gas fills the shell of the supernova remnant as it moves outward. Infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope reveal the shell of the supernova remnant (green) as well as the molecular cloud (red) into which the supernova remnant is moving and the stars in the field of view.

    NASA/Spitzer Telescope


    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Georgia/R.Shelton & NASA/CXC/GSFC/R.Petre; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
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    Infrared
    Fast Facts for W44:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Georgia/R.Shelton & NASA/CXC/GSFC/R.Petre; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech
    Scale Image is 52 arcmin across (about 126 light years)
    Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 18h 55m 59.3s | Dec +01� 20′ 07.0″
    Constellation Aquila
    Observation Dates 3 pointings on 31 Oct 2000, 23 and 25 Jun 2005
    Observation Time 38 hours 10 min (1 day 14 hours 10 min)
    Obs. IDs 1954, 5548, 6312
    Instrument ACIS
    References Shelton, R. et al, 2004, ApJ, 611, 906; arXiv:astro-ph/0407026
    Color Code X-ray (Cyan); Infrared (Red, Green, Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 8300 light years

    X-ray & Optical Images of SN 1987A
    First seen in 1987, this supernova (dubbed SN 1987A) was the brightest supernova and nearest one to Earth in the last century. In a supernova explosion, a massive star runs out of fuel then collapses onto their core, flinging the outer layers of the star into space. By combining X-ray data from Chandra (blue) with optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (appearing orange and red), astronomers can observe the evolution of the expanding shell of hot gas generated by the explosion and watch as a shock wave from the blast heats gas that once surrounded the doomed star. The two bright stars near SN 1987A are not associated with the supernova.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope


    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/PUS/E.Helder et al; Optical: NASA/STScI)

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    Optical
    Fast Facts for Supernova 1987A:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/PUS/E.Helder et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
    Scale Image is 20 arcsec across (about 14 light years)
    Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 05h 35m 28.30s | Dec -69� 16′ 11.10″
    Constellation Dorado
    Observation Dates 4 pointings between Jan 2008 and Jan 2009
    Observation Time 22 hours 13 min
    Obs. IDs 9142, 9143, 9806, 10130
    Instrument ACIS
    Also Known As SN 1987A
    References Helder, E. et al, 2013, ApJ, 764, 11; arXiv:1212.2664
    Color Code X-ray (Blue); Optical (Red, Green, Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 160,000 light years

    X-ray & Optical Images of Kes 79
    Like SN 1987A, this object, known as Kesteven 79, is the remnant of a supernova explosion, but one that went off thousands of years ago. When massive stars run out of fuel, their cores collapse, generating a shock wave that flings the outer layers of the star into space. An expanding shell of debris and the surviving dense central core are often heated to millions of degrees, and give off X-rays. In this image of Kesteven 79, X-rays detected by Chandra (red, green, and blue) have been combined with an optical image from the Digitized Sky Survey of the field of view that reveals the stars (appearing as white).
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward et al, Optical: DSS)

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    Composite

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    X=ray

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    Optical

    Fast Facts for Kes 79:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/F.Seward et al, Optical: DSS
    Scale Image is 15.6 arcmin across (about 104 light years)
    Category Supernovas & Supernova Remnants
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 18h 52m 39.00s | Dec +00� 40′ 00.0”
    Constellation Aquila
    Observation Dates 31 Jul 2001
    Observation Time 8 hours 13 min
    Obs. IDs 1982
    Instrument ACIS
    References Sun, M. et al, 2004, ApJ, 605, 742; arXiv:astro-ph/0401165
    Color Code X-ray (Red, Green, Blue); Optical (Red, Green, Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 23,000 light years

    X-ray, Optical & Radio Images of MS 0735.6+7421
    The galaxy cluster MS 0735.6+7421 is home to one of the most powerful eruptions ever observed. X-rays detected by Chandra (blue) show the hot gas that comprises much of the mass of this enormous object. Within the Chandra data, holes, or cavities, can be seen. These cavities were created by an outburst from a supermassive black hole at the center of the cluster, which ejected the enormous jets detected in radio waves (pink) detected the Very Large Array.

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA

    These data have been combined with optical data from Hubble of galaxies in the cluster and stars in the field of view (orange).
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Waterloo/A.Vantyghem et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA)
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    Radio
    Fast Facts for MS 0735.6+7421:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Waterloo/A.Vantyghem et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NRAO/VLA
    Scale Image is 3 arcmin across (about 2 million light years)
    Category Groups & Clusters of Galaxies
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 07h 41m 50.20s | Dec +74° 14′ 51.00″
    Constellation Camelopardalis
    Observation Dates 8 pointings between Nov 2003 and Jul 2009
    Observation Time 144 hours (6 days 47 min)
    Obs. IDs 4197, 10468, 10469, 10470, 10471, 10822, 10918, 10922
    Instrument ACIS
    References Vantyghem, A. et al, 2014, MNRAS, 442, 3192; arXiv:1405.6208
    Color Code X-ray: Blue; Optical: Gold; Radio: Pink
    Distance Estimate About 2.6 billion light years (z = 0.216)

    X-ray & Optical Images of 3C295
    The vast cloud of 50-million-degree gas that pervades the galaxy cluster 3C295 is only visible with an X-ray telescope like Chandra. This composite image shows the superheated gas, detected by Chandra (pink), which has a mass equal to that of a thousand galaxies. Hubble’s optical data (yellow) reveal some of the individual galaxies in the cluster. Galaxy clusters like 3C295 also contain large amounts of dark matter, which holds the hot gas and galaxies together. The total mass of the dark matter needed is typically five times as great as the gas and galaxies combined.
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Cambridge/S.Allen et al; Optical: NASA/STScI)

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    Optical

    Fast Facts for 3C295:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Cambridge/S.Allen et al; Optical: NASA/STScI
    Scale Image is 1.5 arcmin across (about 1.7 million light years)
    Category Groups & Clusters of Galaxies
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 14h 11m 20s | Dec -52� 12′ 21
    Constellation Boötes
    Observation Dates 2 pointings on 30 Aug 1999 and 18 May 2001
    Observation Time 33 hours 20 min (1 day 9 hours 20 min)
    Obs. IDs 578, 2254
    Instrument ACIS
    Also Known As Cl 1409+524
    References Allen, S. et al, 2001, MNRAS, 324, 842; arXiv:astro-ph/0101162
    Color Code X-ray: Purple; Optical: Yellow
    Distance Estimate About 4.7 billion light years (z=0.464)

    X-ray & Optical Images of Guitar Nebula
    The pulsar B2224+65 is moving through space very rapidly. Because of its high speed, the pulsar is creating a bow shock in its wake. This structure is known as the Guitar Nebula and the likeness of the musical instrument can be seen in the optical data (blue) of this composite image taken by Hubble and the Palomar Observatory.

    Caltech Palomar 200 inch Hale Telescope, at Mt Wilson, CA, USA


    X-ray data from Chandra (pink) reveal a long jet that is coincident with the location of the pulsar at the tip of the “guitar,” but is not aligned with its direction of motion. Astronomers will continue to study this system to determine the nature of this X-ray jet.
    (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/S.Johnson et al, Optical: NASA/STScI & Palomar Observatory 5-m Hale Telescope)

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    Fast Facts for Guitar Nebula:
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass/S.Johnson et al, Optical: NASA/STScI & Palomar Observatory 5-m Hale Telescope
    Scale Image is 3.3 arcmin across (about 5 light years)
    Category Neutron Stars/X-ray Binaries
    Coordinates (J2000) RA 22h 25m 52.36s | Dec +65� 35′ 33.79”
    Constellation Cepheus
    Observation Dates 6 pointings between Oct 2000 and Aug 2012
    Observation Time 54 hours (2 days 6 hours)
    Obs. IDs 755, 6691, 7400, 13771, 14353, 14467
    Instrument ACIS
    References Johnson, S. et al, 2010, MNRAS, 408, 1216; arXiv:1003.1724
    Color Code X-ray (Pink); Optical (Blue)
    Distance Estimate About 4900 light years

    See the full article here .

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:12 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , N49: Stellar Debris in the Large Magellanic Cloud, NASA Chandra   

    From Chandra- “N49: Stellar Debris in the Large Magellanic Cloud” 2006 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    November 29, 2006

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    Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/S.Kulkarni et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/UIUC/Y.H.Chu & R.Williams et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R.Gehrz et al.

    This is a composite image of N49, the brightest supernova remnant in optical light in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

    Large Magellanic Cloud. Adrian Pingstone December 2003

    The Chandra X-ray image (blue) shows million-degree gas in the center. Much cooler gas at the outer parts of the remnant is seen in the infrared image from Spitzer (red).

    NASA/Spitzer Telescope

    While astronomers expected that dust particles were generating most of the infrared emission, the study of this object indicates that much of the infrared is instead generated in heated gas.

    The unique filamentary structure seen in the optical image by Hubble (white & yellow) has long set N49 apart from other well understood supernova remnants, as most supernova remnants appear roughly circular in visible light.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Recent mapping of molecular clouds suggests that this supernova remnant is expanding into a denser region to the southeast, which would cause its asymmetrical appearance. This idea is confirmed by the Chandra data. Although X-rays reveal a round shell of emission, the X-rays also show brightening in the southeast, confirming the idea of colliding material in that area.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 1:48 pm on June 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , N49, NASA Chandra, , supernova remnant in the LMC   

    From Manu: ” N49, supernova remnant in the LMC.” 


    Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    Stellar Shrapnel taken with the aftermath of the explosion.

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    This beautiful composite image shows N49 , the aftermath of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC . A new observation over from X-ray Observatory Chandra NASA , shown in blue , reveals evidence of a shaped object bullet goes out of a field of debris remaining an exploded star, BULLET in image.

    NASA/Chandra Telescope

    To detect this bullet, a team of researchers led by Sangwook Park Pennsylvania State University used Chandra to observe N49 for over 30 hours. This bullet can be seen in the lower right corner of the image and is rich in silicon, sulfur and neon. The detection of this bullet shows that the explosion that destroyed the star was highly asymmetric.

    The bullet is traveling at a high speed of about 5 million miles per hour from a bright point source in the upper left part of N49 . This light source may be a so – called soft gamma ray repeater (SGR), a source that emits bursts of gamma rays and X-rays. A major explanation for these objects is that they are neutron stars with extremely powerful magnetic fields. Since neutron stars are often created in supernova explosions, an association between the SGR and supernova remnants is not unexpected. This case is enhanced by the apparent alignment between the bullet trajectory and bright source of X – rays. However, new data from Chandra also shows that the light source is more obscured by gas than expected if it really lies inside the supernova remnant. In other words, it is possible that the bright X-ray source actually lies beyond the remnant and is projected along the line of sight. Another possible bullet is on the opposite side of the remnant, but is more difficult to see the image because it overlaps with the light emission of shock interaction cloud.

    Optical data space telescope Hubble ( yellow and purple ) shows bright filaments where the shock wave generated by the supernova is interacting with the densest regions near cold clouds, molecular gas.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Using new data from Chandra , the age of N49, as it appears in the image, is believed to be about 5,000 years and the energy of the explosion is estimated to be approximately twice that of a normal supernova. These preliminary results suggest that the original explosion was caused by the collapse of a massive star, Type II supernova.

    Credits for N49:
    X ray (NASA / CXC / Penn State / S.Park et al.);
    Optical: NASA / STScI / UIUC / YHChu and R.Williams et al

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 10:17 pm on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , NASA Chandra, R Aquarii   

    From Chandra: “R Aquarii: Watching a Volatile Stellar Relationship” 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    June 6, 2017

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    X-ray

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    Optical
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. Montez et al.; Optical: Adam Block/Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter/U. Arizona

    U Arizona Mt Lemon Sky Center, in the Santa Catalina Mountains approximately 28 kilometers (17 mi) northeast of Tucson, Arizona (USA)

    R Aquarii is a system containing a white dwarf and a “Mira” variable red giant in orbit around each other.

    Over the 17 years of Chandra’s operations, the telescope has observed the R Aquarii system many times.

    This new composite contains optical data (red) and X-ray data from Chandra (blue).

    Chandra data helps astronomers better understand how this volatile stellar pair interacts with one another.

    In biology, “symbiosis” refers to two organisms that live close to and interact with one another. Astronomers have long studied a class of stars — called symbiotic stars — that co-exist in a similar way. Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, astronomers are gaining a better understanding of how volatile this close stellar relationship can be.

    R Aquarii (R Aqr, for short) is one of the best known of the symbiotic stars. Located at a distance of about 710 light years from Earth, its changes in brightness were first noticed with the naked eye almost a thousand years ago. Since then, astronomers have studied this object and determined that R Aqr is not one star, but two: a small, dense white dwarf and a cool red, giant star.

    The red giant star has its own interesting properties. In billions of years, our Sun will turn into a red giant once it exhausts the hydrogen nuclear fuel in its core and begins to expand and cool. Most red giants are placid and calm, but some pulsate with periods between 80 and 1,000 days like the star Mira and undergo large changes in brightness. This subset of red giants is called “Mira variables.”

    The red giant in R Aqr is a Mira variable and undergoes steady changes in brightness by a factor of 250 as it pulsates, unlike its white dwarf companion that does not pulsate. There are other striking differences between the two stars. The white dwarf is about ten thousand times brighter than the red giant. The white dwarf has a surface temperature of some 20,000 K while the Mira variable has a temperature of about 3,000 K. In addition, the white dwarf is slightly less massive than its companion but because it is much more compact, its gravitational field is stronger. The gravitational force of the white dwarf pulls away the sloughing outer layers of the Mira variable toward the white dwarf and onto its surface.

    Occasionally, enough material will accumulate on the surface of the white dwarf to trigger thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen. The release of energy from this process can produce a nova, an asymmetric explosion that blows off the outer layers of the star at velocities of ten million miles per hour or more, pumping energy and material into space. An outer ring of material provides clues to this history of eruptions. Scientists think a nova explosion in the year 1073 produced this ring. Evidence for this explosion comes from optical telescope data, from Korean records of a “guest” star at the position of R Aqr in 1073 and information from Antarctic ice cores. An inner ring was generated by an eruption in the early 1770s. Optical data (red) in a new composite image of R Aqr shows the inner ring. The outer ring is about twice as wide as the inner ring, but is too faint to be visible in this image.

    Since shortly after Chandra launched in 1999, astronomers began using the X-ray telescope to monitor the behavior of R Aqr, giving them a better understanding of the behavior of R Aqr in more recent years. Chandra data (blue) in this composite reveal a jet of X-ray emission that extends to the upper left. The X-rays have likely been generated by shock waves, similar to sonic booms around supersonic planes, caused by the jet striking surrounding material.

    As astronomers have made observations of R Aqr with Chandra over the years, in 2000, 2003, and 2005, they have seen changes in this jet. Specifically, blobs of X-ray emission are moving away from the stellar pair at speeds of about 1.4 million and 1.9 million miles per hour. Despite travelling at a slower speed than the material ejected by the nova, the jets encounter little material and do not slow down much. On the other hand, matter from the nova sweeps up a lot more material and slows down significantly, explaining why the rings are not much larger than the jets.

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    Time-lapse of R Aqr

    Using the distances of the blobs from the binary, and assuming that the speeds have remained constant, a team of scientists from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass, estimated that eruptions in the 1950s and 1980s produced the blobs. These eruptions were less energetic and not as bright as the nova explosion in 1073.

    In 2007 a team led by Joy Nichols from CfA reported the possible detection of a new jet in R Aqr using the Chandra data. This implies that another eruption occurred in the early 2000s. If these less powerful and poorly understood events repeat about every few decades, the next one is due within the next 10 years.

    Some binary star systems containing white dwarfs have been observed to produce nova explosions at regular intervals. If R Aqr is one of these recurrent novas, and the spacing between the 1073 and 1773 events repeats itself, the next nova explosion should not occur again until the 2470s. During such an event the system may become several hundred times brighter, making it easily visible to the naked eye, and placing it among the several dozen brightest stars.

    Close monitoring of this stellar couple will be important for trying to understand the nature of their volatile relationship.

    Rodolfo (“Rudy”) Montez of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass, presented these results at the 230th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, TX. His co-authors are Margarita Karovska, Joy Nichols, and Vinay Kashyap, all from CfA.

    See the full article here .

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:00 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , G292.0+1.8, NASA Chandra,   

    From Chandra via Manu Garcia: “G292.0+1.8: Stellar Forensics with Striking Image from Chandra” 

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    Via Manu Garcia

    Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

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    Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/S.Park et al.; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS

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    Calteh Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, United States

    The aftermath of the death of a massive star is shown in beautiful detail in this new composite image of G292.0+1.8. In color is the Chandra X-ray Observatory image – easily the deepest X-ray image ever obtained of this supernova remnant – and in white is optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey. Although considered a “textbook” case of a supernova remnant, the intricate structure shown here reveals a few surprises.

    Near the center of G292.0+1.8 is the so-called pulsar wind nebula, most easily seen in high energy X-rays. This is the magnetized bubble of high-energy particles that surrounds the “pulsar”, a rapidly rotating neutron star that remained behind after the original, massive star exploded. The narrow, jet-like feature running from north to south in the image is likely parallel to the spin axis of the pulsar.

    The pulsar is located slightly below and to the left of the center of G292.0+1.8. Assuming that the pulsar was born at the center of the remnant, it is thought that recoil from the lopsided explosion may have kicked the pulsar in this direction. However, the kick direction and the pulsar spin direction do not appear to be aligned, in contrast to apparent spin-kick alignments seen in some other supernova remnants.

    Another key feature of this remnant is the long white line running from left to right across the center called the equatorial belt. This structure is thought to be created when the star – before it died – expelled material from around its equator via winds. The orientation of the equatorial belt suggests the parent star maintained the same spin axis both before and after it exploded.

    One puzzling aspect of the image is the lack of evidence for thin filaments of high energy X-ray emission, thought to be an important site for cosmic ray acceleration in supernova remnants. These filaments are seen in other supernova remnants such as Cassiopeia A, Tycho and Kepler. One explanation may be that efficient acceleration occurs primarily in very early stages of supernova remnant evolution, and G292.0+1.8, with an estimated age of several thousand years, is too old to show these effects. Casseiopeia A, Tycho and Kepler, with ages of several hundred years, are much younger.

    See the full article here .

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:38 am on June 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Chandra Deep Field South : Early Black Holes May Have Grown in Fits and Spurts, , NASA Chandra   

    From Chandra: “Chandra Deep Field South : Early Black Holes May Have Grown in Fits and Spurts” 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    May 31, 2017

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    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Rome/E.Pezzulli et al. Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

    The very earliest supermassive black holes in the Universe may have grown in intense and sporadic bursts.

    Scientists determined this by comparing theoretical models to Chandra surveys including the Chandra Deep Field-South and other data.

    They found that only a small fraction of supermassive black holes were actively growing at a distance of 13.2 billion light years.

    In order to find more about these very distant black holes, researchers hope to conduct wider X-ray surveys of the sky.

    New research using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) suggests supermassive black holes in the early Universe underwent sporadic yet intense periods of growth in the first billion years after the Big Bang as described in our latest press release.

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, NM, USA

    Scientists determined this by comparing theoretical models to data from the Chandra Deep Field-South (CDF-S), the deepest X-ray image ever obtained, and other Chandra surveys. This central region of the CDF-S, where red, green, and blue represent low, medium, and high-energy X-rays detected by Chandra, is seen in the main panel.

    When material is falling toward a black hole, it becomes heated, and produces large amounts of electromagnetic radiation, including copious X-ray emission. The artist’s illustration in the inset depicts gas falling onto an actively growing black hole via a disk. X-rays from this disk can penetrate the cocoon of material surrounding the black hole. Rapidly growing black holes in the very early Universe should be detectable with Chandra. However, these growing supermassive black holes have proved to be elusive, with only a few, yet to be confirmed candidates found in long Chandra observations such as the CDF-S.

    To address this conundrum, a team of researchers examined different theoretical models and tested them against optical data from the SDSS and X-ray data from Chandra. Their findings indicate that black hole feeding during this era may turn on abruptly and last for short periods of time, which means this growth may be difficult to spot.

    The timing of such growth may be key. The authors’ model suggests that 13 billion years ago, about one third of supermassive black holes may have been accreting enough matter to be detectable. Just 200 million years earlier — a veritable blip in cosmic time — the number of potentially detectable black holes is only about 3%. In order to test this idea further, the researchers suggest that surveys that look at larger swaths of the sky in X-rays are necessary.

    These results recently appeared in a paper in the April 2017 issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The all-female research team from Italy included Edwige Pezzulli (University of Rome), Rosa Valiante (INAF), Maria Orofino (Scuola Normale Superiore), Simona Gallerani (Scuola Normale Superiore), Tullia Sbarrato (Bicocca University), and Raffaella Schneider (Sapienza University).

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:15 pm on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , HD 192163, NASA Chandra   

    From Chandra- “Crescent Nebula: Live Fast, Blow Hard and Die Young” From 2003, But Worth It 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    October 14, 2003 [From before I was doing this. But worth it.]

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    Credit: X-ray: NASA/UIUC/Y. Chu & R. Gruendl et al. Optical: SDSU/MLO/Y. Chu et al.

    Massive stars lead short, spectacular lives. This composite X-ray (blue)/optical (red and green) image reveals dramatic details of a portion of the Crescent Nebula, a giant gaseous shell created by powerful winds blowing from the massive star HD 192163 (a.k.a. WR 136, the star is out of the field of view to the lower right).

    After only 4.5 million years (one-thousandth the age of the Sun), HD 192163 began its headlong rush toward a supernova catastrophe. First it expanded enormously to become a red giant and ejected its outer layers at about 20,000 miles per hour. Two hundred thousand years later – a blink of the eye in the life of a normal star – the intense radiation from the exposed hot, inner layer of the star began pushing gas away at speeds in excess of 3 million miles per hour!

    When this high speed “stellar wind” rammed into the slower red giant wind, a dense shell was formed. In the image, a portion of the shell is shown in red. The force of the collision created two shock waves: one that moved outward from the dense shell to create the green filamentary structure, and one that moved inward to produce a bubble of million degree Celsius X-ray emitting gas (blue). The brightest X-ray emission is near the densest part of the compressed shell of gas, indicating that the hot gas is evaporating matter from the shell. The massive star HD 192183 that has produced the nebula appears as the bright dot at the center of the full-field image.

    HD 192163 will likely explode as a supernova in about a hundred thousand years. This image enables astronomers to determine the mass, energy, and composition of the gaseous shell around this pre-supernova star. An understanding of such environments provides important data for interpreting observations of supernovas and their remnants.

    SDSU MLO Mount Laguna Observatory telescope approximately 75 kilometers (47 mi) east of downtown San Diego California (USA)

    See the full article here .

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:58 am on May 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Messier 81, NASA Chandra   

    From Chandra: “Messier 81: Black Holes Have Simple Feeding Habits” 2008 but new to me 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    1
    Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Wisconsin/D.Pooley & CfA/A.Zezas; Optical: NASA/ESA/CfA/A.Zezas; UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J.Huchra et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA
    Release Date June 18, 2008

    This composite NASA image of the spiral galaxy M81, located about 12 million light years away, includes X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (green), infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope (pink) and ultraviolet data from GALEX (purple).

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/Spitzer Telescope

    NASA/Galex telescope

    The inset shows a close-up of the Chandra image. At the center of M81 is a supermassive black hole that is about 70 million times more massive than the Sun.

    A new study using data from Chandra and ground-based telescopes, combined with detailed theoretical models, shows that the supermassive black hole in Messier 81 feeds just like stellar mass black holes, with masses of only about ten times that of the Sun. This discovery supports the implication of Einstein’s relativity theory that black holes of all sizes have similar properties, and will be useful for predicting the properties of a conjectured new class of black holes.

    In addition to Chandra, three radio arrays (the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope, the Very Large Array and the Very Long Baseline Array), two millimeter telescopes (the Plateau de Bure Interferometer and the Submillimeter Array), and Lick Observatory in the optical were used to monitor M81.

    Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope

    NRAO/VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA

    IRAM NOEMA interferometer, Located in the French Alpes on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters

    CfA Submillimeter Array Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

    The UCO Lick C. Donald Shane telescope is a 120-inch (3.0-meter) reflecting telescope located at the Lick Observatory, Mt Hamilton, in San Jose, California

    These observations were made simultaneously to ensure that brightness variations because of changes in feeding rates did not confuse the results. Chandra is the only X-ray satellite able to isolate the faint X-rays of the black hole from the emission of the rest of the galaxy.

    The supermassive black hole in M81 generates energy and radiation as it pulls gas in the central region of the galaxy inwards at high speed. Therefore, the model that Markoff and her colleagues used to study the black holes includes a faint disk of material spinning around the black hole. This structure would mainly produce X-rays and optical light. A region of hot gas around the black hole would be seen largely in ultraviolet and X-ray light. A large contribution to both the radio and X-ray light comes from jets generated by the black hole. Multiwavelength data is needed to disentangle these overlapping sources of light.

    S. Markoff et al, 2008, ApJ, in press

    See the full article here .

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:47 am on May 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IGR J11014-6103: Runaway Pulsar Firing an Extraordinary Jet" 2014, NASA Chandra   

    From Chandra: “IGR J11014-6103: Runaway Pulsar Firing an Extraordinary Jet” 2014, but new to me. 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    February 18, 2014


    Composite


    X-ray

    3
    Radio

    4
    Optical
    Credit X-ray: NASA/CXC/ISDC/L.Pavan et al, Radio: CSIRO/ATNF/ATCA Optical: 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF
    Release Date February 18, 2014
    Instrument ACIS

    A runaway pulsar with an extraordinary jet trailing behind it has been found.

    This pulsar — a spinning neutron star — is moving between 2.5 million and 5 million miles per hour.

    Behind the pulsar there is a tail that stretches for 37 light years, making it the longest X-ray jet ever seen from an object in the Milky Way.

    This tail has a corkscrew pattern, indicating that the pulsar is wobbling like a top as it spins.

    An extraordinary jet trailing behind a runaway pulsar is seen in this composite image that contains data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple), radio data from the Australia Compact Telescope Array (green), and optical data from the 2MASS survey (red, green, and blue).

    CSIRO ATCA at the Paul Wild Observatory, about 25 km west of the town of Narrabri in rural NSW about 500 km north-west of Sydney, AU


    Caltech 2MASS Telescopes, a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) at Caltech, at the Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins south of Tucson, AZ, and at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory near La Serena, Chile.

    The pulsar — a spinning neutron star — and its tail are found in the lower right of this image. The tail stretches for 37 light years, making it the longest jet ever seen from an object in the Milky Way galaxy, as described in our press release.

    The pulsar, originally discovered by ESA’s INTEGRAL satellite, is called IGR J11014-6103 and is moving away from the center of the supernova remnant where it was born at a speed between 2.5 million and 5 million miles per hour.

    ESA/Integral

    This supersonic pace makes IGR J11014-6103 one of the fastest moving pulsars ever observed.

    A massive star ran out of fuel and collapsed to form the pulsar along with the supernova remnant, the debris field seen as the large purple structure in the upper left of the image. The supernova remnant (known as SNR MSH 11-61A) is elongated along the top-right to bottom left direction, roughly in line with the tail’s direction. These features and the high speed of the pulsar suggest that jets could have played an important role in the supernova explosion that formed IGR J11014-6103.

    In addition to its exceptional length, the tail behind IGR J11014-6103 has other interesting characteristics. For example, there is a distinct corkscrew pattern in the jet. This pattern suggests that the pulsar is wobbling like a top as it spins, while shooting off the jet of particles.

    Another interesting feature of this image is a structure called a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), a cocoon of high-energy particles that enshrouds the pulsar and produces a comet-like tail behind it. Astronomers had seen the PWN in previous observations, but the new Chandra and ATCA data show that the PWN is almost perpendicular to the direction of the jet. This is intriguing because usually the pulsar’s direction of motion, its jet, and its PWN are aligned with one another.

    One possibility requires an extremely fast rotation speed for the iron core of the star that exploded as the supernova. A problem with this scenario is that such fast speeds are not commonly expected to be achievable.

    A paper, led by Lucia Pavan of the University of Geneva in Switzerland, describing these results appears in the February 18th issue of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Other authors include Pol Bordas (University of Tuebingen in Germany), Gerd Puehlhofer (Univ. of Tuebingen), Miroslav Filipovic (University of Western Sydney in Australia), A. De Horta (Univ. of Western Sydney), A. O’Brien (Univ. of Western Sydney), M. Balbo (Univ. of Geneva), R. Walter (Univ. of Geneva), E. Bozzo (Univ. of Geneva), C. Ferrigno (Univ. of Geneva), E. Crawford (Univ. of Western Sydney), and L. Stella (INAF).

    See the full article here .

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:23 pm on May 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , NASA Chandra,   

    From Chandra: “Astronomers Pursue Renegade Supermassive Black Hole” 

    NASA Chandra Banner

    NASA Chandra Telescope

    NASA Chandra

    2017-05-09

    1
    CXO J101527.2+625911

    Supermassive holes are generally stationary objects, sitting at the centers of most galaxies. However, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, astronomers recently hunted down what could be a supermassive black hole that may be on the move.

    This possible renegade black hole, which contains about 160 million times the mass of our Sun, is located in an elliptical galaxy about 3.9 billion light years from Earth. Astronomers are interested in these moving supermassive black holes because they may reveal more about the properties of these enigmatic objects.

    This black hole may have “recoiled,” in the terminology used by scientists, when two smaller supermassive black holes collided and merged to form an even larger one. At the same time, this collision would have generated gravitational waves that emitted more strongly in one direction than others. This newly formed black hole could have received a kick in the opposite direction of those stronger gravitational waves. This kick would have pushed the black hole out of the galaxy’s center, as depicted in the artist’s illustration.

    The strength of the kick depends on the rate and direction of spin of the two smaller black holes before they merge. Therefore, information about these important but elusive properties can be obtained by studying the speed of recoiling black holes.

    Astronomers found this recoiling black hole candidate by sifting through X-ray and optical data for thousands of galaxies. First, they used Chandra observations to select galaxies that contain a bright X-ray source and were observed as part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, NM, USA

    Bright X-ray emission is a common feature of supermassive black holes that are rapidly growing.

    Next, the researchers looked to see if Hubble Space Telescope observations of these X-ray bright galaxies revealed two peaks near their center in the optical image.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    These two peaks might show that a pair of supermassive black holes is present or that a recoiling black hole has moved away from the cluster of stars in the center of the galaxy.

    If those criteria were met, then the astronomers examined the SDSS spectra, which show how the amount of optical light varies with wavelength. If the researchers found telltale signatures in the spectra indicative of the presence of a supermassive black hole, they followed up with an even closer examination of those galaxies.

    After all of this searching, a good candidate for a recoiling black hole was discovered. The left image in the inset is from the Hubble data, which shows two bright points near the middle of the galaxy. One of them is located at the center of the galaxy and the other is located about 3,000 light years away from the center. The latter source shows the properties of a growing supermassive black hole and its position matches that of a bright X-ray source detected with Chandra (right image in inset). Using data from the SDSS and the Keck telescope in Hawaii, the team determined that the growing black hole located near, but visibly offset from, the center of the galaxy has a velocity that is different from the galaxy.


    Keck Observatory, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

    These properties suggest that this source may be a recoiling supermassive black hole.

    The host galaxy of the possible recoiling black hole also shows some evidence of disturbance in its outer regions, which is an indication that a merger between two galaxies occurred in the relatively recent past. Since supermassive black hole mergers are thought to occur when their host galaxies merge, this information supports the idea of a recoiling black hole in the system.

    Moreover, stars are forming at a high rate in the galaxy, at several hundred times the mass of the Sun per year. This agrees with computer simulations, which predict that star formation rates may be enhanced for merging galaxies particularly those containing recoiling black holes.

    Another possible explanation for the data is that two supermassive black holes are located in the center of the galaxy but one of them is not producing detectable radiation because it is growing too slowly. The researchers favor the recoiling black hole explanation, but more data are needed to strengthen their case.

    A paper describing these results was recently accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal and is available online. The first author is Dongchan Kim from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

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    NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra’s science and flight operations from Cambridge, Mass.

     
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