Jul
03
2012

In McNeil’s Nebula, a Young Star Flaunts its X-ray Spots

Using combined data from a trio of orbiting X-ray telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Japan-led Suzaku satellite, astronomers have obtained a rare glimpse of the powerful phenomena that accompany a still-forming star. A new study based on these observations indicates that intense magnetic fields drive torrents of gas into the stellar surface, where they heat large areas to millions of degrees. X-rays emitted by these hot spots betray the newborn star’s rapid rotation.

Oct
09
2007

Major Step Toward Knowing Origin of Cosmic Rays

Recent observations from NASA and Japanese X-ray observatories have helped clarify one of the long-standing mysteries in astronomy – the origin of cosmic rays. Outer space is a vast shooting gallery of cosmic rays. Discovered in 1912, cosmic rays are not actually rays at all; they are subatomic particles and ions (such as protons and… Continue reading »