Chandra X-ray Observatory News

Astronomers Discover a Cosmic Particle Accelerator in Abell 3411 and 3412

January 13, 2017

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Astronomers Discover Powerful Cosmic Double Whammy

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other telescopes, a team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic one-two punch unlike any ever seen before. The phenomena occurred in a pair of colliding galaxy clusters called Abell 3411 and Abell 3412. This result shows that an eruption from a supermassive black hole combined with […]

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Chandra’s Newest Image Reveals Black Hole Treasure Trove

January 5, 2017

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Chandra Deep Field South Deepest X-ray Image Ever Reveals Black Hole Treasure Trove

An unparalleled image from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory gives astronomers the best look yet at the growth of black holes over billions of years beginning soon after the Big Bang. This is the deepest X-ray image ever obtained, made with over 7 million seconds of observing time with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. These data give […]

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Distant Galaxy SPT 0346-52 Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

December 8, 2016

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SPT 0346-52 Distant Galaxy Churning Out Stars at Remarkable Rate

Using several telescopes including Chandra, astronomers have shown that a galaxy in the early Universe called SPT0346-52 is undergoing an extraordinary burst of star formation. The absence of X-rays from Chandra shows that there is no actively growing, supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. This means that the rate amount of infrared […]

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NASA’s Chandra Views a Stellar Circle of Life, Cygnus X-3

November 28, 2016

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Chandra Views a Stellar Circle of Life

A newly published study reveals that the supernova explosion that formed either the black hole or neutron star in Cygnus X-3 kicked the binary system away from its original birthplace, estimating that Cygnus X-3 must have been thrown out at speeds between 400,000 and 2 million miles per hour. A snapshot of the stellar life […]

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Astronomers Explain Mysterious Dimming of Markarian 1018

November 10, 2016

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Markarian 1018 Black Hole Dims Brilliant Galaxy

By combining data from Chandra, VLT and several other telescopes, astronomers reveal that the dimming of Markarian 1018 arises from the black hole at the center being deprived of enough fuel to illuminate its surroundings. Astronomers may have solved the mystery of the peculiar volatile behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of […]

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Astronomers Study the Pulsar Wind Nebula Created by PSR B0355+54

November 7, 2016

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Pulsar Wind Nebulae

A team of astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics has modeled the detailed shape of the pulsar wind nebula created by PSR B0355+54. Neutron stars are the detritus of supernova explosions, with masses between one and several suns and diameters only tens of kilometers across. A pulsar is a spinning neutron star with a […]

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Astronomers Discover Mysterious Cosmic Objects Erupting in X-rays

October 20, 2016

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Mysterious Cosmic Objects Erupting in X-rays

Using data from both Chandra and XMM-Newton, astronomers discovered two flaring objects in two different galaxies. These objects brighten in X-rays by a factor of 100 in about a minute before returning to previous level in about an hour. Astronomers have found a pair of extraordinary cosmic objects that dramatically burst in X-rays. This discovery, […]

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Chandra Telescope Reveals Evidence for a “Wandering” Black Hole

October 5, 2016

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Telescopes Reveal Evidence for Wandering Black Hole

Astronomers have discovered a “wandering” black hole in the outer regions of a galaxy about 4.5 billion light years from Earth. Evidence suggests this newly discovered black hole has about 100,000 times the Sun’s mass, and was originally located in a smaller galaxy that merged with a larger one. Astronomers have used NASA’s Chandra X-ray […]

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Spitzer Finishes Its Frontier Fields Observations

September 29, 2016

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Spitzer Completes Its Observations for the Frontier Fields Project

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has finished its Frontier Fields observations and astronomers are working to get the data out to the astronomical community. In the ongoing hunt for the universe’s earliest galaxies, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has wrapped up its observations for the Frontier Fields project. This ambitious project has combined the power of all […]

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Astronomers Solve the Mystery of a Rare Change in the Behavior of a Supermassive Black Hole

September 16, 2016

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ESO Views Active Galaxy Markarian 1018

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, a team of astronomers has solved the mystery of a rare change in the behavior of a supermassive black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. It seems that the black hole is no longer being fed enough fuel […]

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Chandra Detects X-Rays from Pluto

September 15, 2016

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Astronomers Shed New Light on Pluto

Using Chandra, a team of astronomers has detected X-rays from Pluto for the first time. This X-ray emission comes from the interaction between Pluto’s atmosphere and solar wind. New Chandra observations offer new insight into the space environment surrounding Pluto, the largest and best-known object in the solar system’s outermost regions. While NASA’s New Horizons […]

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Astronomers Detect Young Magnetar in Supernova Remnant, Likely the Slowest Pulsar Ever Discovered

September 8, 2016

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Chandra Discovers Young Magnetar

Astronomers may have detected the slowest spinning neutron star to date. The object is in the middle of the RCW 103 supernova remnant, which is about 10,700 light years from Earth. While other neutron stars spin multiple times a minute, this object only rotates once about every 6.5 hours. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and […]

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Chandra Reveals Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster

August 31, 2016

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Astronomers Discover Record-Breaking Galaxy Cluster

Using Chandra and several other telescopes, astronomers have found the most distant galaxy cluster to date. This cluster, called CL J1001+0220, lies about 11.1 billion light years from Earth and may have been caught right after birth, a brief, but important stage of cluster evolution never seen before. The remote galaxy cluster was found in […]

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Chandra Data Raises Questions about the Timing and Origin of Supernova Remnant G11.2-0.3

August 18, 2016

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New Chandra Data of the Supernova Remnant G11

New Chandra data of the supernova remnant G11.2-0.3 raise new questions about the timing of its origin. Chandra observations show that dense gas clouds lie along the line of sight between Earth and G11.2-0.3, meaning that the supernova explosion would have been too faint to be seen with the naked eye from Earth. A new […]

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Chandra Reveals Evidence for Violent Stellar Merger

July 15, 2016

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Astronomers Find Evidence for Violent Stellar Merger

Using data from Chandra, astronomers have the strongest evidence to date that violent stellar mergers produce pencil-thin jets. This result has implications for estimating the number of such mergers that may detected with gravitational wave observatories. Gamma-ray bursts, or GRBs, are some of the most violent and energetic events in the Universe. Although these events […]

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Low-Mass Black Hole May Represent New Population

June 27, 2016

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Clandestine Black Hole May Represent New Population

By combining data from Chandra and several other telescopes, astronomers have identified the true nature of an unusual source in the Milky Way galaxy. This object contains a very quiet black hole, a few times the Sun’s mass, about 7,200 light years from Earth. This discovery implies that there could be many more black holes […]

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Astronomers Discover Clues For How Giant Black Holes Formed So Quickly

May 25, 2016

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Evidence That Some Early Supermassive Black Holes Formed Directly from the Collapse of a Gas Cloud

Using the combined data from Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer, atronomers have found evidence that some early supermassive black holes formed directly from the collapse of a gas cloud. Astronomers have found the best evidence yet for cosmic seeds in the early universe that should grow into supermassive black holes. Researchers combined data from NASA’s Chandra […]

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Chandra Captures Expanding Debris from a Stellar Explosion

May 12, 2016

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Tycho's Supernova Remnant Chandra Movie Captures Expanding Debris From a Stellar Explosion

By combining the Chandra data with 30 years worth of observations, scientists have made a movie of the evolution of Tycho’s supernova remnant. When the star that created this supernova remnant exploded in 1572, it was so bright that it was visible during the day. And though he wasn’t the first or only person to […]

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