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NASA’s Chandra Releases Doubleheader of Blockbuster Hits

New movies of two of the most famous objects in the sky — the Crab Nebula and Cassiopeia A — are being released from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Each includes X-ray data collected by Chandra over about two decades. They show dramatic changes in the debris and radiation remaining after the explosion of two massive stars in our galaxy.

The Crab Nebula, the result of a bright supernova explosion seen by Chinese and other astronomers in the year 1054, is 6,500 light-years from Earth. At its center is a neutron star, a super-dense star produced by the supernova. As it rotates at about 30 times per second, its beam of radiation passes over the Earth every orbit, like a cosmic lighthouse.

The second billing in this doubleheader is just as spectacular. Cassiopeia A (Cas A for short) is the remains of a supernova that is estimated to have exploded about 340 years ago in Earth’s sky. While other Chandra movies of Cas A have previously been released, including one with data extending from 2000 to 2013, this new movie is substantially longer featuring data from 2000 through to 2019.

To view the full article, visit: NASA’s Chandra Releases Doubleheader of Blockbuster Hits – NASA