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2000 Chandra X-Ray Observatory Photos
Chandra image of supernova remnant IC443 + Large (3000 x 2228, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (500 x 333, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This Chandra image reveals a point-like source of X-rays embedded in the remains of the supernova remnant IC443. This discovery was made by three high school students using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in conjunction with radio data from the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA). The comet-shaped appearance of the cloud of high-energy particles in the Chandra image indicates that the neutron star is moving through IC443. + Read More

Supernova remnant known as G11.2-0.3 + Large (2254 x 2175, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (500 x 482, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This Chandra image clearly locates a pulsar exactly at the geometric center of the supernova remnant known as G11.2-0.3. Chandra provides very strong evidence that the pulsar was formed in the supernova of 386 AD, which was witnessed by Chinese astronomers. Determining the true ages of astronomical objects is notoriously difficult, and for this reason, historical records of supernovae are of great importance. If confirmed, this will be only the second pulsar to be clearly associated with a historic event. + Read More

A cooling flow in the Galaxy Cluster Abell 1795 + Large (2179 x 2171, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (500 x 498, 72 ppi
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Like a spoon moving through hot soup, the massive elliptical galaxy near the top of this image has cut a swath across the dense, hot gas in this crowded galaxy cluster known as Abell 1795. This smoothed Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the galaxy cluster A1795 shows a bright filament some 200,000 light years in length. The gas in this structure is denser and cooler (30 million compared to 50 million degrees) than the surrounding gas. + Read More

Zeta Orionis + Large (2258 x 2271, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (500 x 503, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This figure is a composite of the X-ray spectrum and CCD image of Zeta Orionis, one of the three belt stars in the constellation of Orion. The Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) image (upper right) clearly shows that Zeta Orionis is a binary, or, double, star system. The recent results by Waldron and Cassinelli focused on the larger "A" component of the system. The spatial resolution between the "A" and "B" elements of Zeta Orionis are a mere 2.4 arc seconds away from one another, demonstrating the fantastic resolution capable by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. + Read More

Quasar 3C273 + Large (2263 x 2175, 300 ppi
+ Medium (500 x 481, 72 ppi
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This Chandra image shows important new details in the powerful jet shooting from the quasar 3C273, providing an X-ray view into the area between 3C273’s core and the beginning of the jet. High-powered jets driven from quasars, often at velocities very close to the speed of light, have long been perplexing for scientists. Instead of seeing a smooth stream of material driven from the core of the quasar, most optical, radio, and earlier X-ray observations have revealed inconsistent, "lumpy" clouds of gas. + Read More

Chandra image of Sirius A and B + Large (2229 x 1763, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (500 x 395, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This Chandra X-ray image offers a new view of the Sirius star system located 8.6 light years from Earth. This image shows two sources and a spike-like pattern due to the support structure for the transmission grating. The bright source is Sirius B, a white dwarf star with a surface temperature of about 45,000 degrees Fahrenheit (25,000 Celsius), which produces very low-energy X-rays. The dim source at the position of Sirius A -- a normal star more than twice as massive as the sun -- may be due to ultraviolet radiation from Sirius A leaking through the filter on the detector. In contrast, Sirius A is the brightest star in the northern sky when viewed with an optical telescope, while Sirius B is 10,000 times dimmer. Because the two stars are so close together Sirius B escaped detection until 1862 when Alvan Clark discovered it while testing one of the best optical telescopes in the world at that time. The theory of white dwarf stars was developed by S. Chandrasekhar, the namesake of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The story of Sirius B came full cycle when it was observed by Chandra in October 1999 during the calibration or test period. The white dwarf, Sirius B, has a mass equal to the mass of the sun, packed into a diameter that is 90% that of the Earth. The gravity on the surface of Sirius B is 400,000 times that of Earth. + Read More

Chandra clinches case for missing link black hole. + Medium (500 x 333, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

X-ray image of the central region of the starburst galaxy M82. Of particular interest is the bright source near the center of the image, offset from the dynamical center (small green +) of the galaxy by about 600 light years. This source was seen to increase dramatically in intensity over a period of three months, as indicated by comparing the left image to the more-recent observation at right. Short-term flickering in 10-minute intervals also was observed. This fast flickering and the peak intensity of the source are strong evidence that the X-rays are produced by matter accreting onto a black hole with the mass of more than 500 suns. + Read More

composite of the X-ray spectrum and CCD image of Zeta Orionis + Large (2242 x 1800, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (500 x 401, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This figure is a composite of the X-ray spectrum and CCD image of Zeta Orionis, one of the three belt stars in the constellation of Orion. The Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) image (upper right) clearly shows that Zeta Orionis is a binary, or, double, star system. The recent results by Waldron and Cassinelli focused on the larger "A" component of the system. The spatial resolution between the "A" and "B" elements of Zeta Orionis are a mere 2.4 arc seconds away from one another, demonstrating the fantastic resolution capable by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. The color contours in the image are scaled logarithmically in relationship to their X-ray intensities. + Read More

Chandra image of colliding galaxies + Large (1649 x 1645, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (396 x 395, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This Chandra image of colliding galaxies shows superbubbles produced by the combined effect of thousands of supernovae, as well as dozens of bright point-like sources produced by neutron stars and black holes. + Read More

Chandra X-ray Observatory image of Comet C/1999 S4 + Medium (467 x 434, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra X-ray Observatory image of Comet C/1999 S4 (LINEAR). On July 14, 2000, the Chandra X-ray Observatory imaged the comet repeatedly for a total of 2 hours and detected X-rays from oxygen and nitrogen ions. The details of the X-ray emission, as recorded on Chandra's Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer, show the X-rays are produced by collisions of ions racing away from the Sun (solar wind) with gas in the comet. + Read More

Brown Dwarf LP 944-20 The first flare ever seen from a brown dwarf, or failed star, has been detected by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. For the first nine hours and 36 minutes of Chandra's observation, no X-rays were detected from Brown Dwarf LP 944-20 (left panel). Then the brown dwarf turned on with a bright X-ray flare (right) that gradually diminished over the last few hours of the observation. The grainy appearance of the image on the right is due to a shorter exposure time. The bright dots in the background are other X-ray sources, seven of which have been identified as stars. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia + Large (1636 x 1639, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (393 x 393, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The broadband image, which shows all the X-rays detected from Cas A, is more symmetric than the others. This could be due to the presence of X-rays from synchrotron radiation by extremely high energy particles spiraling in the magnetic field of the remnant, or to shock waves traveling through material puffed off thousands of years before the supernova. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia + Large (2263 x 2263, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (543 x 543, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The silicon image shows a bright, broad jet breaking out of the upper left side of the remnant, and faint streamers in an opposite direction. This jet could be due to an asymmetry in the explosion. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia + Large (1397 x 2100, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (290 x 436, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The calcium image is similar to the silicon image, but less bright and clumpier. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia + Large (1397 x 2100, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (290 x 436, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The iron image shows significant differences from other images. Since iron is the heaviest element shown, these maps support the suggestion that the layers of the star were overturned either before or during the explosion. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of Perseus A + Large (2367 x 2367, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (568 x 568, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra X-ray image of Perseus A. + Read More

Chandra X-ray (left) and Hubble Space Telescope (right) image of the central region of the active galaxy NGC 4151. + Large (2238 x 3000, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (537 x 720, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra X-ray (left) and Hubble Space Telescope (right) image of the central region of the active galaxy NGC 4151. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of NGC 3783 + Large (2822 x 512, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (677 x 123, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The central bright spot in this image is the Chandra X-ray image of NGC 3783. The long intersecting lines represent a dispersed X-ray spectrum, or rainbow, produced by the medium (lower left to upper right) and high energy (upper left to lower right) gratings on Chandra. + Read More

Hubble Deep Field North (optical), showing X-ray sources identified by Chandra. + Large (2217 x 2150, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (532 x 516, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Hubble Deep Field North (optical), showing X-ray sources identified by Chandra. + Read More

Chandra image showing X-ray sources in Hubble Deep Field North and positions of submillimeter-emitting galaxies (boxes). + Large (2186 x 1883, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (525 x 452, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra image showing X-ray sources in Hubble Deep Field North and positions of submillimeter-emitting galaxies (boxes). + Read More

X-ray Jet Points Toward Cosmic Energy Booster Radio Galaxy Pictor A. + Medium (589 x 308, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The Chandra X-ray image of Pictor A shows a spectacular jet that emanates from the center of the galaxy (left) and extends across 360 thousand light years toward a brilliant hot spot. The hot spot is at least 800 thousand light years (8 times the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy) away from where the jet originates. The hot spot is thought to represent the advancing head of the jet, which brightens conspicuously where it plows into the tenuous gas of intergalactic space. One possible explanation for the X rays is that shock waves along the side and head of the X-ray jet are boosting electrons and possibly protons to speeds close to that of light. Jets are thought to be produced by the powerful electromagnetic forces created by magnetized gas swirling toward a black hole. Although most of the material falls into the black hole, some can be ejected at extremely high speeds. Magnetic fields spun out by these forces can extend over vast distances and may help explain the narrowness of the jet. + Read More

Vela Pulsar + Medium (504 x 504, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra image of Vela Pulsar + Read More

Planetary Nebula BD+30 + Large (1222 x 1235, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (576 x 574, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra image of Planetary Nebula BD+30 + Read More

SUPERNOVA 1987A in X-rays + Large (3000 x 2550, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (720 x 612, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The Chandra X-ray Observatory image of SN 1987A made in January 2000 shows an expanding shell of hot gas produced by the supernova explosion. The gas in the shell has a temperature of about ten million degrees Celsius, and is visible only with an X-ray telescope. The colors represent different intensities of X-ray emission, with white being the brightest. + Read More

Cygnus X-3 and Scattering Halo + Medium (600 x 600, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra shows new way to measure cosmic distances. A team of scientists has used Chandra to observe a halo around the X-ray source Cygnus X-3. The halo (beyond the yellow ring in the center) is due to scattering by interstellar dust grains along the line of sight to the source. The sharp horizontal line is an instrumental effect. The X-ray emission from Cygnus X-3 is due to matter falling from a normal star onto a nearby neutron star or black hole. Its X-ray emission varies regularly with a 4.8 hour period, as the compact star circles a companion star. The radiation from the halo is delayed and smeared out, so the variations are damped. By observing the delays and smearing at different parts of the halo, the distance to the X-ray source is found to be 30,000 light years. + Read More

Color composite of the supernova remnant E0102-72: X-ray (blue), optical (green), and radio (red). + Large (2269 x 2250, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (545 x 540, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Color composite of the supernova remnant E0102-72: X-ray (blue), optical (green), and radio (red). E0102-72 is the remnant of a star that exploded in a nearby galaxy known as the Small Magellanic Cloud. The galaxy is approximately 190,000 light years from Earth, so we see the remnant as it was about 190,000 years ago -- about a thousand years after the explosion occurred. The star exploded outward at speeds in excess of 20 million kilometers per hour (12 million mph) and collided with surrounding gas. This collision produced two shock waves, or cosmic sonic booms -- one traveling outward, and the other rebounding back into the material ejected by the explosion. The radio image, shown in red, was made using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. The radio waves are due to extremely high energy electrons spiraling around magnetic field lines in the gas and trace the outward moving shock wave. The Chandra X-ray image, shown in blue, shows gas that has been heated to millions of degrees Celsius by the rebounding, or reverse shock wave. The X-ray data show that this gas is rich in oxygen and neon. These elements were created by nuclear reactions inside the star and hurled into space by the supernova. The Hubble Space Telescope optical image, shown in green, shows dense clumps of oxygen gas that have "cooled" to about 30,000 degree Celsius. Images such as these, taken with different types of telescopes, give astronomers a much more complete picture of supernova explosions. They can map how the elements necessary for life are dispersed, and measure the energy of the matter as it expands into the galaxy. Chandra X-ray Observatory Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer Image (ACIS) Reference: T. Gaetz et al, "Chandra X-ray Observatory Arsecond Imaging of the Young Oxygen-Rich Supernova Remnant 1E0102.2-7219", The Astrophysical Journal Letters (in press) (astro-ph/0003355). + Read More

Image Credit: X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO); optical (NASA/HST); radio: (ACTA)

Chandra Advanced Charged Coupled Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) image (contours) and optical image (color pixels) of a newly discovered powerful X-ray source in a distant galaxy. + Medium (572 x 556, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra Advanced Charged Coupled Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) image (contours) and optical image (color pixels) of a newly discovered powerful X-ray source in a distant galaxy. When viewed with an optical telescope, this galaxy appears normal. But when the Chandra X-ray Observatory observed the galaxy during calibration testing in September 1999, it discovered an unusually strong source of X-rays. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of Type 2 quasar (left) and Hubble optical image of same quasar. + Medium (328 x 325, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra X-ray image of Type 2 quasar (left) and Hubble optical image of same quasar. + Read More

Chandra X-ray Observatory image of the galaxy cluster Abell 2142. + Large (3000 x 2928, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (720 x 717, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

The image shows a colossal cosmic "weather system" produced by the collision of two giant clusters of galaxies. For the first time, the pressure fronts in the system can be traced in detail, and they show a bright but relatively cool 50 million degree central region (white) embedded in large elongated cloud of 70 million degree gas (magenta), all of which is roiling in a faint "atmosphere" of 100 million degree gas (faint magenta and dark blue). + Read More

The X-ray spectrum of the central region of the galaxy, NGC 5548 + Medium (640 x 512, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This figure is the X-ray spectrum of the central region of the galaxy, NGC 5548. The spectrum shows the number of X rays present at each energy or wavelength, and amounts to a cosmic bar code. It allows scientists to take an inventory of the gas around the giant black hole in the center of the galaxy. The deep valleys in the spectrum are produced when a blanket of warm (few million degree) gas absorbs X rays of specific energies from hotter gas close to the central black hole. + Read More

Chandra image of Andromeda galaxy + Large (3000 x 2523, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (640 x 539, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This X-ray image shows the central portion of the Andromeda Galaxy. The blue dot in the center of the image is a "cool" million-degree X-ray source where a supermassive black hole with the mass of 30-million suns is located. The X-rays are produced by matter funneling toward the black hole. Numerous other hotter X-ray sources also are apparent. Most of these are probably due to X-ray binary systems, in which a neutron star or black hole is in close orbit around a normal star. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of M82 + Large (2400 x 2400, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (576 x 576, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

M82, at a distance of 11 million light years from Earth, is the nearest starburst galaxy. Massive stars are forming and expiring in M82 at a rate 10 times higher than in our galaxy. The bright spots in the center are supernova remnants and X-ray binaries. These are some of the brightest such objects known. The luminosity of the X-ray binaries suggests that most contain a black hole. The diffuse X-ray light in the image extends over several thousand light years, and is caused by multimillion-degree gas flowing out of M82. A close encounter with a large galaxy, M81, in the last 100 million years is thought to be the cause of the starburst activity. Image made with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS). + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of Orion Nebula star cluster + Medium (572 x 572, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

This X-ray image shows about a thousand X-ray emitting young stars in the Orion Nebula star cluster. The X-rays are produced in the multimillion-degree upper atmospheres of these stars. At a distance of about 1,800 light years, this cluster is the closest massive star-forming region to Earth. It is well known in the night sky because it illuminates the Orion Nebula. The region shown in this image is about 10 light years across. The bright stars in the center are part of the Trapezium, an association of very young stars with ages less than a million years. The dark vertical and horizontal lines, and the streaks from the brightest stars are instrumental effects. Image made with the Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS). + Read More

Chandra image of Milky Way center + Large (3720 x 3720, 300 ppi)
+ Medium (640 x 640, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra X-ray image of the innermost 10 light years at the center of our galaxy. The image has been smoothed to bring out the X-ray emission from an extended cloud of hot gas surrounding the supermassive black hole candidate Sagittarius A* (white dot at the center of the image). This gas glows in X-ray light because it has been heated to a temperature of millions of degrees by shock waves produced by supernova explosions and perhaps by colliding winds from young massive stars. + Read More

Chandra X-ray image of supernova remnant E0102-72 + Medium (538 x 449, 72 ppi)
+ Small (100 x 100, 72 ppi)

Chandra X-ray image of supernova remnant E0102-72. + Read More
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