Sunday, September 9, 2018

Chandra Observatory Discover Ring of X-ray Sources in Distant Galaxy

  According to a new paper published in the Astrophysical Journal, a ring of bright x-ray sources - black holes or neutron stars - has been discovered within a galaxy approximately 300 million light years from Earth.
  Using data collected by the Chandra Observatory, the physicists determined that the ring was likely forged when one galaxy collided through the middle of another, creating ripples within the structure.
Further observations determined that the X-ray sources detected were classified as ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs). These objects produce hundreds to thousands of times more X-rays than a typical binary system in which a companion star orbits around a neutron star or black hole.
   “The first galaxy generated ripples in the gas of the second galaxy, AM 0644-741, located in the lower right," said Dr. Anna Wolter of the Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera and co-authors. "These ripples then produced an expanding ring of gas in AM 0644-741 that triggered the birth of new stars. The first galaxy is possibly the one located in the lower left of the image.”
   “Some of these black holes or neutron stars have close companion stars, and siphon gas from their stellar partner,” the astronomers said. “This gas falls towards the black hole or neutron star, forming a spinning disk like water circling a drain, and becomes heated by friction. This superheated gas produces large amounts of X-rays that NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory can detect.”

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