The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

The 2011 Chandra Calendar

The Chandra X-Ray Space Telescope has just released its 20011 Calendar. Best part is its free and you can download it in various sizes.  In the olden days, you would have to take it to a professional printer, but now photo quality printers give many people the ability to print the wonderful images on these calendars at home (just be sure you have a lot of black ink handy!)

Chandra observes the universe in X-rays instead of visible light.  X-rays are much higher energy and the universe looks very different through X-ray eyes.  Chandra observes supernova remnants, active galaxies, neutron stars, hot gas clouds and other high energy objects.

January’s image of N49 is a good example of a supernova remnant.

This image is a composite of X-ray data from Chandra and a visible light image from Hubble.  The expanding supernova remnant is interacting with the surrounding gas giving rise to an intricate array of filaments.  The leftover neutron star is a soft gamma repeater, a neutron star that gives off low energy gamma rays (well, low energy for a gamma ray at least…they really are pretty energetic!)  The neutron star is the bright “star”toward the top of the image, just slightly left of center.  This explosion was not symmetric so the neutron star got blasted to the side.

So download the calendar…there are 11 more wonderful images and stories to go with this one.


October 26, 2010 - Posted by | Astronomy, Pretty Pictures, X-Ray Astronomy

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