NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory entered protective safe mode 10 October, the second of NASA’s “Great Observatories” to be sidelined in one week by a technical issue. Engineers are studying telemetry to pinpoint the problem.
Observations of a ring galaxy, the result of a cosmic collision with another galaxy more than 300 million years ago, reveal a necklace-like ring of ultraluminous X-ray sources powered by black holes, neutron stars or both.
Astronomers struggling to understand why an unusual stars periodically fades and brightens have collected X-ray observations indicating it may be due to the catastrophic collision of two infant planets.
Observations by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory of two five-billion-solar-mass black holes at the cores of two ancient ‘red nugget’ galaxies show they squelched star formation early on while consuming surrounding gas.
More than a decade of observations shows any planets orbiting the two main stars in the nearby Alpha Centauri system are not being blasted by dangerous levels of radiation that would be hostile to life.
Colliding neutron stars generated headlines last year after the detection of gravitational waves sweeping through the solar system. Follow-on X-ray observations indicate the cataclysmic merger formed a record low-mass black hole.
The afterglow from the distant neutron star merger detected last August has continued to brighten — much to the surprise of astrophysicists studying the aftermath of the massive collision that took place about 138 million light-years away and sent gravitational waves rippling through the Universe.