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The COSMOS Legacy Survey shows data that have provided evidence for the existence of intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs). Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/ICE/M.Mezcua et al.; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Illustration: NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

Finding the Happy Medium of Black Holes

Finding the Happy Medium of Black Holes Scientists have taken major steps in their hunt to find black holes that are neither very small nor extremely large. Finding these elusive intermediate-mass black holes could help astronomers better understand what the “seeds” for the largest black holes in the early Universe…

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This artist’s illustration depicts the destruction of a young planet or planets, which scientists may have witnessed for the first time using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credits: Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss; X-ray spectrum: NASA/CXC/MIT/H. M.Günther

Chandra May Have First Evidence of a Young Star Devouring a Planet

Chandra May Have First Evidence of a Young Star Devouring a Planet Scientists may have observed, for the first time, the destruction of a young planet or planets around a nearby star. Observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicate that the parent star is now in the process of devouring…

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Artist's illustration and X-ray image of "red nugget" galaxy Mrk 1216. Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MTA-Eötvös University/N. Werner et al., Illustration: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

Red Nuggets’ Are Galactic Gold for Astronomers

Red Nuggets’ Are Galactic Gold for Astronomers About a decade ago, astronomers discovered a population of small, but massive galaxies called “red nuggets.” A new study using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that black holes have squelched star formation in these galaxies and may have used some of the untapped…

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A new study involving long-term monitoring of Alpha Centauri by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars. This is important for the viability of life in the nearest star system outside the Solar System. Chandra data from May 2nd, 2017 are seen in the pull-out, which is shown in context of a visible-light image taken from the ground of the Alpha Centauri system and its surroundings. Alpha Centauri is a triple star system located just over four light years, or about 25 trillion miles, from Earth. While this is a large distance in terrestrial terms, it is three times closer than the next nearest Sun-like star. Credits: Optical: Zdenek Bardon; X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Colorado/T. Ayres et al.

Chandra Scouts Nearest Star System for Possible Hazards

Chandra Scouts Nearest Star System for Possible Hazards In humanity’s search for life outside our Solar System, one of the best places scientists have considered is Alpha Centauri, a system containing the three nearest stars beyond our Sun. A new study that has involved monitoring of Alpha Centauri for more…

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A composite image of the supernova 1E0102.2-7219 contains X-rays from Chandra (blue and purple), visible light data from VLT’s MUSE instrument (bright red), and additional data from Hubble (dark red and green). A neutron star, the ultra dense core of a massive star that collapses and undergoes a supernova explosion, is found at its center. Credits: X-ray (NASA/CXC/ESO/F.Vogt et al); Optical (ESO/VLT/MUSE & NASA/STScI)

Astronomers Spot a Distant and Lonely Neutron Star

Astronomers Spot a Distant and Lonely Neutron Star Astronomers have discovered a special kind of neutron star for the first time outside of the Milky Way galaxy, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. Neutron stars are the ultra…

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Image credit: NASA/CXC/Columbia Univ./C. Hailey et al.

Black Hole Bounty Captured in the Milky Way Center

Black Hole Bounty Captured in the Milky Way Center Astronomers have discovered evidence for thousands of black holes located near the center of our Milky Way galaxy using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. This black hole bounty consists of stellar-mass black holes, which typically weigh between five to 30…

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This new picture created from images from telescopes on the ground and in space tells the story of the hunt for an elusive missing object hidden amid a complex tangle of gaseous filaments in one of our nearest neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud. The reddish background image comes from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and reveals the wisps of gas forming the supernova remnant 1E 0102.2-7219 in green. The red ring with a dark centre is from the MUSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope and the blue and purple images are from the NASA Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The blue spot at the centre of the red ring is an isolated neutron star with a weak magnetic field, the first identified outside the Milky Way. Credit: ESO/NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/F. Vogt et al.

Dead Star Circled by Light

Dead Star Circled by Light New images from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other telescopes reveal a rich landscape of stars and glowing clouds of gas in one of our closest neighbouring galaxies, the Small Magellanic Cloud. The pictures have allowed astronomers to identify an elusive stellar corpse…

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A gigantic and resilient “cold front” hurtling through the Perseus galaxy cluster has been studied using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credits: NASA/CXC/GSFC/S. Walker, ESA/XMM, ROSAT

Scientists Surprised by Relentless Cosmic Cold Front

Scientists Surprised by Relentless Cosmic Cold Front This winter has brought many intense and powerful storms, with cold fronts sweeping across much of the United States. On a much grander scale, astronomers have discovered enormous “weather systems” that are millions of light years in extent and older than the Solar…

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Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Caltech/M. Brightman et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI

Beaming with the Light of Millions of Suns

Beaming with the Light of Millions of Suns In the 1980s, scientists started discovering a new class of extremely bright sources of X-rays in galaxies. These sources were a surprise, as they were clearly located away from the supermassive black holes found in the center of galaxies. At first, researchers…

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In this graphic an image from the Chandra Deep Field-South is shown. The Chandra image (blue) is the deepest ever obtained in X-rays. It has been combined with an optical and infrared image from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), colored red, green, and blue. Each Chandra source is produced by hot gas falling towards a supermassive black hole in the center of the host galaxy, as depicted in the artist’s illustration. Credits: NASA/CXC/Penn. State/G. Yang et al and NASA/CXC/ICE/M. Mezcua et al.; Optical: NASA/STScI; Illustration: NASA/CXC/A. Jubett

Supermassive Black Holes Are Outgrowing Their Galaxies

Supermassive Black Holes Are Outgrowing Their Galaxies The biggest black holes in the Universe are growing faster than the rate of stars being formed in their galaxies, according to two new studies using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes. Over many years, astronomers have gathered data on…

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NASA/CXC/SAO

Researchers Catch Supermassive Black Hole Burping – Twice

Researchers Catch Supermassive Black Hole Burping – Twice Using data from several telescopes including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have caught a supermassive black hole snacking on gas and then “burping” — not once but twice, as described in our latest press release. This graphic shows the galaxy, called SDSS…

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A visualization of the center of our galaxy. Credits: NASA/CXC/Pontifical Catholic Univ. of Chile /C.Russell et al.

Scientists Take Viewers to the Center of the Milky Way

Scientists Take Viewers to the Center of the Milky Way CORRECTION (Earth’s distance from the Milky Way’s center was erroneously reported. 150,000 trillion miles is the correct distance.) A 360-degree movie immerses viewers into a simulation of the center of our Galaxy. This visualization was enabled by data from Chandra…

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Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/NRAO/D.-C.Kim; Optical: NASA/STScI; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

Astronomers Pursue Renegade Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomers Pursue Renegade Supermassive Black Hole Supermassive holes are generally stationary objects, sitting at the centers of most galaxies. However, using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, astronomers recently hunted down what could be a supermassive black hole that may be on the move. This possible renegade…

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Artist's illustration of a star found in the closest orbit known around a black hole in the globular cluster named 47 Tucanae. Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Alberta/A.Bahramian et al.; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss

Star Discovered in Closest Known Orbit Around Likely Black Hole

Star Discovered in Closest Known Orbit Around Likely Black Hole Astronomers have found evidence for a star that whips around a black hole about twice an hour. This may be the tightest orbital dance ever witnessed for a likely black hole and a companion star. This discovery was made using…

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