A very massive star collapsed to form a neutron star, and not a black hole as anticipated, according to new results from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. This discovery shows that nature has a harder time making black holes than previously thought.
Ring of Fire
This new image from the Solar Dynamics Observatory's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) shows in great detail a solar prominence taken from a March 30, 2010 eruption. The twisting motion of the material is the most noticeable feature.
Supernova Remnants Deconstructed
This composite x-ray image reveals a cat-shaped image produced by the remnants of two exploded stars in the Large Megellanic Cloud galaxy.
A Star Called Mira
Mira A (or simply, Mira) was named "The Wonderful" star in the seventeenth century because its brightness was observed to wax and wane over a period of about 330 days. In this advanced red giant phase of Mira A's life, its diameter has swollen to about 600 times that of the Sun and it is pulsating, due to increasingly energetic nuclear reactions in its core.
Chandra X-ray Images of Supernova 1987A
Chandra observations have revealed new details about the fiery ring surrounding the stellar explosion that produced Supernova 1987A. The data give insight into the behavior of the doomed star in the years before it exploded, and indicate that the predicted spectacular brightening of the circumstellar ring has begun.
Chandra X-ray & Hubble Optical Composite of Supernova 1987A
Multiple Chandra X-ray Images and Full Field Hubble Optical Image of Supernova 1987A
Chandra X-ray images of Supernova 1987A reveal a ring of multimillion-degree gas produced by the collision of an outward-moving supernova shock wave with a ring of cool circumstellar gas.
Another Side of Jupiter
Jupiter shows intense X-ray emission associated with auroras in its polar regions (Chandra image on left). Extended monitoring by Chandra showed that the auroral X-rays are caused by highly charged particles crashing into the atmosphere above Jupiter's poles.
The accompanying schematic illustrates how Jupiter's unusually frequent and spectacular auroral activity is produced. Jupiter's strong, rapidly rotating magnetic field (light blue lines) generates strong electric fields in the space around the planet. Particles (white dots) from Jupiter's volcanically active moon, Io, drift outward to create a huge reservoir of electrons and ions. These charged particles, trapped in Jupiter's magnetic field, are continually being accelerated (gold particles) down into the atmosphere above the polar regions, so auroras are almost always active on Jupiter.