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Cosmic Collision Forges Galactic One Ring—in X-rays

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:31 am

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover a ring of black holes or neutron stars in a galaxy 300 million light years from Earth.

This ring, while not wielding power over Middle Earth, may help scientists better understand what happens when galaxies smash into one another in catastrophic impacts.

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Cosmic Collision Forges Galactic One Ring—in X-rays 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:32 am

Cosmic Collision Forges Galactic One Ring—in X-rays Ring
Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/INAF/A. Wolter et al; Optical: NASA/STScI

In this new composite image of the galaxy AM 0644-741 (AM 0644 for short), X-rays from Chandra (purple) have been combined with optical data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, and blue). The Chandra data reveal the presence of very bright X-ray sources, most likely binary systems powered by either a stellar-mass black hole or neutron star, in a remarkable ring. The results are reported in a new paper led by Anna Wolter from INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera in Milano, Italy.

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Cosmic Collision Forges Galactic One Ring—in X-rays 334pu7m
Dragon
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Post by Dragon Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:34 am



A new ring of black holes or neutron stars has been discovered in a galaxy about 300 million light years from Earth.

This ring was forged when one galaxy smashed through the middle of another, creating ripples in the gas.

As this gas expanded through the impacted galaxy, called AM 0644-741, it triggered waves of star formation.

The most massive of these stars lasted only a few million years, before exploding as supernovas and leaving behind black holes or neutron stars as their remains.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory can detect some of these black holes and neutron stars as they siphon off material from stars that orbit them.

Studying 'ring' galaxies such as this one will help astronomers better understand what happens when galaxies clash in catastrophic impacts.


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