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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Normal & Starburst Galaxies
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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
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Normal & Starburst Galaxies
Animations & Video: Normal Galaxies & Starburst Galaxies
Page 123456
Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of NGC 6240
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Two large galaxies are colliding and scientists have used Chandra to make a detailed study of an enormous cloud of hot gas that surrounds them. This unusually large reservoir of gas contains as much mass as about 10 billion Suns, spans about 300,000 light years, and radiates at a temperature of more than 7 million degrees. This giant gas cloud, which scientists call a "halo," is located in the system known as NGC 6240. As the galaxies - each about the size and shape of our Milky Way -- merge, the gas contained in individual galaxy has been violently stirred up. This caused a baby boom of new stars that has lasted for at least 200 million years. During this burst of stellar birth, some of the most massive stars raced through their evolution and exploded relatively quickly as supernovas. According to researchers, this created new hot gas enriched with important elements -- such as oxygen, neon, and magnesium -- that expanded into and mixed with cooler gas that was already there. In the future, the two spiral galaxies will probably form one young elliptical galaxy over the course of millions of years. It is unclear, however, how much of the hot gas can be retained by this newly formed galaxy, or if it will be lost to surrounding space. Regardless, the collision in NGC 6240 offers the opportunity to witness a relatively nearby version of an event that was common in the early Universe.
[Runtime: 02.06]
(NASA/CXC/J. DePasquale)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. Tour of NGC 3627
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only The spiral galaxy NGC 3627 is located about 30 million light years from Earth. Astronomers recently completed a survey of galaxies to look for supermassive black holes. Of the 62 galaxies, 37 - including NGC 3627 - were found to have X-ray sources at their centers and are candidates for being powered by supermassive black holes. Seven of these 37 were previously unknown. This result confirms other Chandra studies that show X-ray surveys are particularly good at finding supermassive black holes that are relatively inactive.
[Runtime: 00:43]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
3. Tour of NGC 922
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only In this holiday season of home cooking and carefully-honed recipes, some astronomers are asking: what is the best mix of ingredients for stars to make the largest number of plump black holes? They are tackling this problem by studying the number of black holes in galaxies with different compositions. One of these galaxies is the ring galaxy NGC 922 that was formed by the collision between two galaxies. This collision triggered the formation of new stars in the shape of a ring. Some of these were massive stars that evolved and collapsed to form black holes. Seven of the sources seen in the Chandra image are thought to contain stellar-mass black holes that are at least ten times more massive than the sun, which places them in the upper range for this class of black hole. By comparing NGC 922 to galaxies with different mixtures of elements, astronomers hope to master the ideal recipe for what it takes to make these large black holes.
[Runtime: 1.09]
(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
4. A Tour of SN 1957D in M83
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Over fifty years ago, a supernova was discovered in M83, a spiral galaxy about 15 million light years from Earth. This supernova was dubbed SN 1957D because it was the fourth one detected in the year of 1957.
[Runtime: 01:13]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/STScI/K.Long et al., Optical: NASA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M83

Click for high-resolution animation
5. Tour of M83
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Since the 1980s, astronomers have known about a mysterious class of objects that they call "ultraluminous X-ray sources," or ULXs. They named them this because these objects give off more X-ray light than most other binary systems where black holes or neutron stars are in orbit around a normal companion star. Recently, scientists using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical telescopes spotted a ULX in the spiral galaxy M83 that was acting even more strangely. This ULX increased its output in X-rays by 3,000 times over the course of several years. Using clues found in the X-ray and optical data, researchers think this ULX may be a member of a population of black holes that up until now was suspected to exist but had not been confirmed. These black holes, which are the smaller stellar-mass black holes, are older and more volatile than previously thought.
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M83

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Tour of NGC 3115
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This is NGC 3115, a galaxy located about 32 million light years from Earth. This composite image contains X-rays from Chandra as well as optical data from the Very Large Telescope. Using the new Chandra image, astronomers have imaged the flow of hot gas as it falls toward the supermassive black hole in the center of NGC 3115. This is the first time such a flow has been clearly imaged in any black hole. The Chandra data also provide evidence that the black hole in NGC 3115 has a mass of about two billion times that of the Sun. This would make NGC 3115 the host of the nearest billion-solar-mass black hole to Earth.
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(NASA/CXC/A. Hobart)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
7. Tour of Arp 147
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only Just in time for Valentine's Day comes a new image of a ring -- not of jewels -- but of black holes. This image shows Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies some 430 million light years from Earth, as seen by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. The ring-shaped object on the right is a remnant of a spiral galaxy that collided with the elliptical galaxy to the left millions of years ago. The collision triggered a wave of star formation. Many of these new young stars raced through their evolution in a few million years or less and ended up as supernova explosions or black holes. X-rays from Chandra now reveal a ring of these black holes in the outer arms of the spiral structure. Researchers estimate that the nine sources around the ring are likely 10 to 20 times more massive than the Sun a rather impressive weight for any Valentines gift.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/S.Rappaport et al, Optical: NASA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
8. Giant Ring of Black Holes
QuicktimeMPEG This image shows Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies some 430 million light years from Earth, as seen by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope. The ring-shaped object on the right is a remnant of a spiral galaxy that collided with the elliptical galaxy to the left millions of years ago. The collision triggered a wave of star formation. Many of these new young stars raced through their evolution - in a few million years or less - and ended up as supernova explosions or black holes. X-rays from Chandra now reveal a ring of these black holes in the outer arms of the spiral structure. Researchers estimate that the nine sources around the ring are likely 10 to 20 times more massive than the Sun - a rather impressive weight for any Valentine's gift.
[Runtime: 0.20]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/S.Rappaport et al, Optical: NASA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
9. Tour of Antennae
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only This beautiful new image shows two colliding galaxies as seen by NASA's Great Observatories. The Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, are shown in this composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The collision began more than 100 million years ago and is going on. It has triggered the formation of millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas in the galaxies. The X-ray image from Chandra shows huge clouds of hot, interstellar gas that have been injected with rich deposits of elements from supernova explosions. This enriched gas, which includes elements such as oxygen, iron, magnesium and silicon, will one day be incorporated into new generations of stars and planets.
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(X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/J.DePasquale; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: NASA/STScI)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
10. Tour of M31 II
QuicktimeMPEG Audio Only For over a decade, astronomers have been using the Chandra X-ray Observatory to monitor the supermassive black hole in the center of Andromeda, the Milky Way's sister galaxy. These observations have revealed that the black hole at the center of Andromeda was very quiet until January 2006, when it underwent a big outburst in X-rays. Since then, it's quieted down again, but it remains about ten times brighter in X-rays now than before 2006. Astronomers will continue to observe this feeble but unpredictable black hole, which is the closest supermassive black hole to us outside of the Milky Way.
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(X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/Li et al.), Optical (DSS))

Related Chandra Images:
  • Photo Album: M31

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