Chandra Pinpoints a Pulsar
Credit: NASA/CXC/U.Mass/F.Lu et al.

Chandra Pinpoints a Pulsar

The image above is an observation made by the Chandra X-ray Observatory which shows the X-ray emission from a supernova remnant G54.1+0.3, a large hot cloud of gas produced by a star's explosion. At the center of the remnant Chandra detected a bright source of X-rays surrounded by a circular ring of X-ray emission. The bright source was confirmed as a pulsar (the rapidly spinning, dense remains of the stellar core) by a followup radio observation using the Arecibo radio telescope. The X-ray ring of emission seen in the Chandra image is thought to have been produced by the interaction of a "wind" from the pulsar with the gas thrown out from the atmosphere of the star during the stellar explosion.

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified July 2, 2002