Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




TIME AND SPACE
Dead Star and Distant Black Holes Dazzle in X-Rays
by Staff Writers
Pasadena CA (JPL) Jan 12, 2014


Can you see the shape of a hand in this new X-ray image? The hand might look like an X-ray from the doctor's office, but it is actually a cloud of material ejected from a star that exploded. NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, has imaged the structure in high-energy X-rays for the first time, shown in blue. Lower-energy X-ray light previously detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is shown in green and red. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/McGill. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Two new views from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, showcase the telescope's talent for spying objects near and far. One image shows the energized remains of a dead star, a structure nicknamed the "Hand of God" after its resemblance to a hand. Another image shows distant black holes buried in blankets of dust.

"NuSTAR's unique viewpoint, in seeing the highest-energy X-rays, is showing us well-studied objects and regions in a whole new light," said Fiona Harrison, the mission's principal investigator at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

NuSTAR launched into space June 13, 2012, on a mission to explore the high-energy X-ray universe. It is observing black holes, dead and exploded stars and other extreme objects in our own Milky Way galaxy and beyond.

The new "Hand of God" image shows a nebula 17,000 light-years away, powered by a dead, spinning star called PSR B1509-58, or B1509 for short. The dead star, called a pulsar, is the leftover core of a star that exploded in a supernova.

The pulsar is only about 19 kilometers (12 miles) in diameter but packs a big punch: it is spinning around nearly seven times every second, spewing particles into material that was upheaved during the star's violent death. These particles are interacting with magnetic fields around the ejected material, causing it to glow with X-rays. The result is a cloud that, in previous images, looked like an open hand.

One of the big mysteries of this object, called a pulsar wind nebula, is whether the pulsar's particles are interacting with the material in a specific way to make it appear as a hand, or if the material is in fact shaped like a hand.

"We don't know if the hand shape is an optical illusion," said Hongjun An of McGill University, Montreal, Canada. "With NuSTAR, the hand looks more like a fist, which is giving us some clues."

The second image from NuSTAR shows active, supermassive black holes up to 16 billion light-years away in a well-studied patch of sky called the COSMOS field (for Cosmic Evolution Survey). Each dot is a voracious black hole at the heart of a galaxy, actively feeding off a surrounding disk of material.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes have identified many of the black holes in this field, but some are so heavily obscured in gas and dust that NuSTAR's higher-energy X-ray observations are needed to characterize and understand them. Astronomers hope to use NuSTAR to provide new demographics on the numbers, types and distances to black holes that populate our universe.

"This is a hot topic in astronomy," said Francesca Civano of Yale University, New Haven, Conn. "We want to understand how black holes grew in the past and the degree to which they are obscured." The ongoing research will help explain how black holes and galaxies grow and interact with each other.

.


Related Links
NuSTAR at NASA
NuSTAR at Caltech
Understanding Time and Space






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





UAV Payloads 2014, 24 - 25 June - London, UK
TIME AND SPACE
Death By Black Hole In Small Galaxy?
Huntsville AL (SPX) Jan 12, 2014
A bright, long duration flare may be the first recorded event of a black hole destroying a star in a dwarf galaxy. The evidence comes from two independent studies using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. As part of an ongoing search of Chandra's archival data for events signaling the disruption of stars by massive black holes, astronomers found a prime candida ... read more


TIME AND SPACE
Internet Radio Provides Musical Space-Weather Reports from NASA's LRO Mission

Moon rover, lander wake after lunar night

India to launch second mission to moon by 2017

Wake Up Yutu

TIME AND SPACE
Mars Orbiter Images Rover and Tracks in Gale Crater

Ten-Years Roving About On Mars

Who Wants to Go to Mars - One Way?

More than 1,000 chosen for one-way Mars reality-TV mission

TIME AND SPACE
Earthly politicians seek roadmap for space exploration

Internet of Things poses new security risks

China, US move toward cooperation in space

SciTechTalk: New year, new technology

TIME AND SPACE
Official: China's space policy open to world

China launches communications satellite for Bolivia

China's moon rover continues lunar survey after photographing lander

China's Yutu "naps", awakens and explores

TIME AND SPACE
Orbital's cargo ship arrives at space station

Cygnus Work Under Way, Normal Station Operations Continue

Obama Administration Extends ISS Until at Least 2024

NASA extends space station life to 2024

TIME AND SPACE
Vega Flight VV03 And Ariane Flight VA218

Competiveness, quality and launcher family evolution are the keywords for Arianespace in 2014 and beyond

Orbital Sciences launches second mission to space station

Cygnus Heads to Space for First Station Resupply Mission

TIME AND SPACE
NASA's Kepler Provides Insights on Enigmatic Planets

Powerful Planet Finder Turns Its Eye to the Sky

New kind of planet or failed star? Astrophysicists discover category-defying celestial object

SF State astronomers discover new planet in Pisces constellation

TIME AND SPACE
SimCity coming down from the "cloud"

Starting Fire With Water

Towards perfect control of light waves

GPM Completes Spacecraft Alignments




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement