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Normal Stars & Star Clusters
X-ray Astronomy Field Guide
Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Questions and Answers
Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Chandra Images
Normal Stars & Star Clusters
Animations & Video: Normal Stars & Star Clusters
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Click for high-resolution animation
1. Tour of RCW 108
QuicktimeMPEG RCW 108 is a region where stars are actively forming about 4,000 light-years from Earth. This is a complicated part of our galaxy that contains young star clusters, including one that is deeply embedded in a cloud of molecular hydrogen. In Chandra's X-ray image, over 400 sources of X-ray light are seen. Many of these X-ray sources are young stars undergoing massive flaring just as our Sun did billions of years ago. The infrared Spitzer image shows the clouds of dust and gas in this region. The bright knot of orange and red is where a cluster of young stars is hidden. Astronomers think that intense radiation from massive stars in another nearby cluster, just out of view to the left of this image, is destroying the cloud that contains this cluster. While this sounds very violent and destructive, it is in fact a good thing. This will trigger a new generation of stars to form, continuing the cycle of stellar life and death in the Universe.
[Runtime: 1.05]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/S.Wolk et al; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Related Chandra Images:

Click for high-resolution animation
2. The Evolution of a Globular Cluster
QuicktimeMPEG Shown here is a sequence of artist's impressions explaining the evolution of a globular cluster. The first graphic shows a globular cluster forming, where single stars are shown in red and double stars in blue. A globular cluster then passes through three main phases of evolution, corresponding to adolescence, middle age, and old age, as shown in the next three graphics. These "ages" refer to the evolutionary state of the cluster, not the physical ages of the individual stars. In the adolescent phase, the stars near the center of the cluster collapse inward (in more technical parlance this is called "core contraction"). Middle age ("binary burning") refers to a phase when the interactions of double stars near the center of the cluster prevents it from further collapse (the stars in green are those currently undergoing interactions). Finally, old age sets in after the last remaining double star near the center of the cluster is ejected, and the center of the cluster collapses inwards ("core collapse"). The final graphic shows a period of extended old age, when the central region of the cluster expands and contracts ("gravothermal oscillations) after new double stars are formed. New Chandra results suggest that most globular clusters are in adolescence and a few are in middle age. It was previously thought that most clusters are in middle age and a few are in old age.
[Runtime: 0.19]
View Stills
(Northwestern/W.Finney)

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3. 47 Tucanae Animation
QuicktimeMPEG This animation zooms from ground-based optical views around the southern constellation of Tucana, to a Hubble Space Telescope image of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, and finally rests on the X-ray image of the cluster's core taken with Chandra.
[Runtime: 0:22]
View Stills
(STScI/Honeywell/CXC/B.Preston)

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Click for high-resolution animation
4. Optical & X-ray Views of McNeil's Nebula
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence leads the viewer from a ground-based optical view around McNeil's Nebula through to Chandra's up-close X-ray image. It begins with the picture of the region that amateur astronomer Jay McNeil took with his 3-inch telescope, which led to the discovery of the nebula (and hence the name). The images then proceed to increasingly smaller optical views of the nebula and its immediate environment. The sequence ends by showing Chandra's observation of the source at the apex of McNeil's Nebula, which was seen to flare in X-rays. The X-ray data suggest the outburst was caused by an infall of material onto the star's surface from an orbiting disk of gas.
[Runtime: 0:25]
(Optical, wide-fields: Jay McNeil; Optical, close-up: NSF/NOAO/KPNO/A.Block et al.; X-ray: NASA/CXC/RIT/J.Kastner et al.)

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Click for high-resolution animation
5. Coronal Mass Ejections
QuicktimeMPEG Coronal mass ejections (or CMEs) are huge bubbles of gas threaded with magnetic field lines that are ejected at high speeds (millions of miles per hour) from the Sun over the course of several hours. If a CME collides with the Earth, it can excite a geomagnetic storm that can damage spacecraft, cause electrical power outages, and endanger astronauts.
[Runtime: 0:33]
View Stills
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

Click for high-resolution animation
6. Constellation View of the Orion Nebula
QuicktimeMPEG This motion graphic starts with a wide-field, ground-based optical image of the Orion constellation. Next, the view zooms into an optical photograph taken by David Malin of the Orion Nebula before dissolving into a mosaic of Hubble Space Telescope images of a slightly smaller region. The sequence ends with Chandra's image of the Orion Nebula Cluster, the deepest X-ray image ever obtained of a star cluster.
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(Ground-based: Akira Fujii; Optical Photograph: Copyright Anglo-Australian Observatory. Photograph by David Malin; HST: NASA/STScI/Rice Univ./C.O'Dell et al.; X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/E.Feigelson & K.Getman et al. Animation Credit: NASA/STScI/Bryan Presto)

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7. Time-Lapse Movie of Chandra Observations
QuicktimeMPEG Zooming in from the full X-ray image, this sequence shows a time-lapse movie of Chandra data covering a smaller region of the Orion Nebula. Rapid variations in the young Orion stars can be seen during this 7-day-long observation (half the full Chandra observation) which contains 50 X-ray images. The star at the center of the image shows the strongest flare recorded among 30 stars with masses close to that of the Sun. This flare is about 10,000 times more powerful than the biggest flares seen on the Sun. If the Sun were placed at the distance of the Orion Nebula, its largest flares would not be visible in this movie.
[Runtime: 0:16]
(NASA/CXC/Penn State/E.Feigelson & K.Getman et al.)

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Click for high-resolution animation
8. Animation of X-ray Flares from a "Young Star"
QuicktimeMPEG
*Broadcast Quality

This animation shows how X-ray flares from a young star affect a planet-forming disk. Light from the young star is reflected off the inner part of the disk, making it glow. The view zooms in to show small white flares continually erupting on the surface of the young star. A set of huge white magnetic loops then erupts from the star and hits the inside edge of the disk, resulting in an extremely bright flare. X-rays from the flare then heat up the planet-forming disk and will later result in turbulence that affects the positions of planets.
[Runtime: 0:23]
View Stills
(NASA/CXC/A.Hobart)

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9. A Multiwavelength Look At Orion
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence begins with Chandra's image of the Orion Nebula Cluster, the deepest X-ray image ever obtained of a star cluster. The image contains over 1,600 X-ray sources, most of them young stars. Zooming into a smaller region at the cluster's center, the view then dissolves to an optical image from the Hubble Space Telescope of the same region, followed by an infrared image made by ESO's Very Large Telescope, before returning to the Chandra data.
[Runtime: 0:20]
(X-ray: NASA/CXC/Penn State/E.Feigelson & K.Getman et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI/Rice University/C.O'Dell et al.; Infrared: ESO/VLT/M.McCaughrean et al.)

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10. Dissolve from Optical to X-ray Image of Westerlund 1
QuicktimeMPEG This sequence begins with an optical view of the star cluster, known as Westerlund 1. When the view dissolves into Chandra's X-ray image, the unusual neutron star -- a dense whirling ball of neutrons about 12 miles in diameter -- appears very brightly.
[Runtime: 0:08]
(Optical: ESO/WFI/2.2-m MPG; X-ray: NASA/CXC/UCLA/M.Muno et al.)

Related Chandra Images:

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