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More Images of B1957+20
Artist's Impression of B1957+20 Pulsar System
An artist's impression of the optical and X-ray emission surrounding the "Black Widow" pulsar B1957+20 is shown at left. The rapidly spinning pulsar, marked by the white star in this figure, is moving from left to right generating a "bow shock" (a sonic boom traveling ahead of the pulsar into surrounding interstellar gas.)
A Closer Look at this Illustration
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Artist's Impression of B1957+20 Pulsar System (Close-Up)
On a scale about a million times smaller than the figure above, the pulsar's high-energy wind also has a dramatic effect on its companion star, which orbits the pulsar every 9.2 hours. The pulsar is shown as a white dot, with its wind flowing out at high speeds in all directions.
A Closer Look at this Illustration
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Chandra X-ray Image of B1957+20
This X-ray image reveals an elongated cloud, or cocoon, of high-energy particles flowing behind the rapidly rotating pulsar, B1957+20 (white point-like source).
Scale: Image is 1.2 arcmin per side
(Credit: NASA/CXC/ASTRON/B.Stappers et al.)

Optical Image of B1957+20
This optical image was taken on August 3, 2000 with the Anglo-Australian Telescope. Blue represents the continuum optical emission, and green depicts line emission in Halpha.
Scale: Image is 1.2 arcmin per side
(Credit: AAO/J.Bland-Hawthorn & H.Jones)

Chandra X-ray/Optical Image with Scale Bar
Scale bar = 18 arcsec
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/ASTRON/B.Stappers et al., Optical: AAO/J.Bland-Hawthorn & H.Jones)

Return to B1957+20 (27 Feb 03)