Between rainbows, rings, and sharp, hard lines, it’s difficult to not clap my hands in glee while unpacking the levels of awesome crammed in this X-ray image of Circinus X-1. The beautiful bullseye light echoes hint this neutron star is farther, brighter, and more like a black hole than we thought.
This is SNR E0519-69.0, an expanding shell of debris around a star that exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. The red lines are the outer edges of the explosion (visible light) and the blue glow is the superhot gas (millions of degrees hot, in X-Ray).
Blaze of glory. NGC 2207 and IC 2163, two spiral galaxies in the process of merging, turn out to have an unusual number of "ultraluminous X-ray sources" according to the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. What's more, astronomers have found three supernova explosions in the pair in the past 15 years.
This image of the Perseus galaxy cluster shows something extraordinary. In X-ray light, you can see the superheated gas which bathes the thousands of galaxies in the cluster. And in the shape of the gas, scientists found evidence of turbulence on a cosmic scale.
Galaxy clusters are large clouds of hot gas, seemingly-ideal places to observe gas cooling and condensing into stars. Yet, we don't see that happening. Here's a look at how black holes and turbulence are conspiring to keep galaxy clusters underpopulated with hot new stars.
Did that swirl of gas and dust just face-palm a pulsar? System PSR B1509-58 has a history of inspiring pareidolia, and this latest infrared and x-ray composite image is just calling out for creative interpretation.
This galaxy looks like our own Milky Way, except for a pair of spiral arms emerging out of the galactic plane. That one anomaly is enough to radically change the evolution of NGC 4258, as powerful jets are generating shockwaves driving gas right out of the galaxy and slowing star growth to a crawl.
The Chandra X-Ray Observatory recently released four of the most stunning images of galaxies we've ever seen — but these mind-blowing pictures couldn't have come into existence without the help of amateur astronomers and photographers.
By magnifying a region of space 6 billion light-years away, astronomers have directly measured the spin of a distant black hole — and holy crap do these things ever rotate quickly.
See that purple stream at the bottom right? It's the helical jet from a runaway pulsar that's streaking across the Milky Way at speeds reaching five million mph. But more extraordinary than that is how freakishly long this thing is.
Check out the amazing new image that NASA just released of Cassiopeia A, the remains of a supernova that would have been visible from Earth 300 years ago. This new composite image was released to promote a new 3-D visualization tool that will allow more people to study Cas A.
In honor of American Archive Month, NASA has selected eight images from a group of unique celestial objects taken by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. It's the first time these images have ever been seen by the public — and they're as freaky as they are gorgeous.