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Our favorite photos of the 20's in the X-ray telescope

NGC 6357, a cluster of young stars, with X-rays displayed in purple.
-Ray: NASA / CXC / PSU / L.Townsley et al; Optical: UKIRT; Infrared Spectrum: NASA / JPL-Caltech

If the Hubble Space Telescope sets the standard for what the photo coming out of the jaw should look like, then the X-ray Observatory Chandra, launched 20 years ago this week, refined it. The X-ray Observatory went into orbit on Columbia Space Shuttle on July 23, 1

999. Unlike Hubble, which measures ultraviolet, visible and almost infrared radiation emanating from stars and galaxies, Chandra captures X-rays. Different things in space emit X-rays, like jets of matter released from galaxy centers, star winds interacting with cool gas, black holes and neutron stars, and supernova remnants. In other words, Chandra is specialized in helping us understand the most distracting things.

But unlike many Hubble images that usually contain very visible light and color is shifted for aesthetic or explanatory reasons, X-rays are not visible to our eyes, so all Chandra images must be rendered false . Typically, these images are superimposed on images of visible light to illustrate the whole scene. It's not what the area would look like in our eyes, but it's an extra filter to look at the universe that captures important data left by other telescopes. Twenty years old are a telescope, and Chandra is showing signs of age. Last autumn the telescope undergoes a mistake in one of the gyros that helps to be oriented. Since then, astronomers have solved this issue, but questions remain about what the heir of the telescope will be – unlike the James Webb space telescope that will cover much of the wavelengths that Hubble watches today, there is no improved version of Chandra on the horizon. Scientists have proposed the X-ray Lynx telescope for the 2020 research decade, but this is just one of four potential leading concepts. Here are some of the coolest, as well as some of the most important images. Generally, these photos combine several wavelengths, so I'll say what you see and what Chandra added – the extra color Chandra has contributed to these images also means a better understanding of how these heavenly objects work.

Galaxy Cluster 1E 0657-56, also known as "Bullet Pulley". ; Optical: NASA / STScI; Magellan / U.Arizona / D.Clowe et al .; Lensing Map: NASA / STScI; ESO WFI; Magellan / U.Arizona / D.Clowe et al.

This 2004 observation is among Chandra's most famous images, as it provides scientists with evidence of the existence of dark matter, a mysterious mass that looks far outnumbered in the universe, but this does not seem to interact with regular matter. The cluster itself is the result of two large groups of galaxies that collide with each other, with the visible light of the galaxies shown in white and orange. X-rays in the center of the image are shown in pink and radiated from normal matter in the center.

But the shocking find for astronomers is the blue bits. Blue is the place where the bulk of the cluster mass is based, based on gravitational lensing, where heavy objects distort the light from stars and galaxies that glow behind them. Generally, the image shows that most of the "stuff" in the image is not where the ordinary matter is (pink) but where the blue is. Scientists believe that when the two groups collide, the dark matter continues to move without interference, while much of the regular matter slows down the collision and remains at the center. Since then, scientists have repeated this study on dozens of other galactic clusters.

Raccoon Nebula

X-rays, pink, light green, infrared in yellow, radio in red and ultraviolet in blue.
Image: X-ray photograph: NASA / CXC / SAO; Optical: NASA / STScI; Infrared light: NASA / JPL / Caltech; Radio: NSF / NRAO / VLA; Ultraviolet: ESA / XMM-Newton

The Cancer Nebula is among the most explored objects in the night sky and is the result of the supernova that astronomers observed here on Earth in 1054. and infrared light emitted by lower energy electrons farther from the center. Chandra's 2009 contribution is a pink component with a bright spot in the center, the electrons with higher energy. This region is a striking image of a neutron star, a ruined star remnant made of extremely dense matter.

Given how many people have studied it, the Raccoons nebula has revealed a number of important scientific discoveries as a constant source of high-energy radiation in the sky. He helped scientists refine their understanding of supernovae and rotating neutron stars, release the highest energy radiation ever seen, and allow astronomers to measure the solar crown and other celestial objects when they pass before it.

Sag A * “/>

Sag A *
Image: NASA / CXC / Univ. from Wisconsin / Ya.Bai and others.

Chandra's X-ray observations have generated a lot of data about Sagittarius A *, the black hole in the center of our galaxy and the high-energy environment. In this image, different colors represent different X-ray energies, with the highest energy X-rays in blue. Sag A * will sit in the center of the brightest part of the red zone

The image does not show the black hole itself, but the area of ​​hot gas around the black hole. And although this is just a picture of one observation, this area is pretty chaotic. Scientists working with Chandra will sometimes measure X-ray eruptions from the region, which are thought to be the result of the black hole that swallows matter or reconfiguration of the magnetic fields in the region. SN 1987A

SN 1987A
Image: X-rays: NASA / CXC / PSU / S.Park & ​​D.Burrows; Optical: NASA / STScI / CfA / P.Challis

Thirty-two years ago, a new flash came from heaven, coming from our neighboring galaxy, the Big Magellanic Cloud. Telescopes around the world, including Chandra, have been able to take pictures of the supernova and continue to observe it even today, watching how it changes over time. This is the first example of "astronomy with many visitors", as astronomers measure both electromagnetic radiation and neutrinos resulting from this stellar explosion.

Chandra's observations here are in blue (not the white spots). The whole image shows the matter ejected from a supernova illuminated by a passing shock wave. Today scientists believe that the shock wave has already left the ring of matter and is moving even faster as it passes into a less dense area of ​​space.

M87 “/>
Order: NASA / CXC / University of Vilanova / J. Earlier this year, observatories around the world announced that they had created the first shot of the shadow of the black hole. The X-ray X-ray delivers an accompanying image of the M87, which is not so dramatic that the storm provides some important context for the black hole behavior.

Most importantly, you can see in the plugin a bright line that is washed by the plus symbol. It's a stream of high-energy things emanating from the black hole that stretches over a thousand light-years. Scientists are studying the X-rays of this galaxy to better understand the environment around the M87 black hole, and how and why its jets form. [196590032] Illustration for an article titled "Our favorite images of a Chandra X-ray telescope" 20 years in space “/>

Image: X-ray image: NASA / CXC / SAO / J. Drake et al; H-alpha: Univ. of Hertfordshire / INT / IPHAS; Infrared Light: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Spitzer

Chandra has released some new images to celebrate its 20th birthday, and although most Chandra images are great, I like it especially because it looks like an abstract picture , although as I explained earlier, the colors here are mostly random. The image shows Cygnus OB2, which according to the paper of 2014 is "the largest concentration of young and massive stars within 2 [kiloparsecs] of the Sun," where 2 kilos are about 6,500 light-years. The image shows these young stars that emit high energy winds producing shock waves that excite the surrounding stars.

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