Credit: NASA/MIT/B. Gaensler et al.
above is a Chandra X-ray
"color image" of the region surrounding a young, energetic neutron star
called B1509-58. This neutron star is associated with a supernova remnant
called SN G320.4-1.2, and represents the collapsed core of the star which
exploded. The neutron star itself is visible as a bright white source at
the center of the image. Surrounding the neutron star are a number of
individual X-ray emitting plasmas. A thin jet visible to the lower left of
the neutron star, extends for about 20 light years. This jet is thought to
trace a beam of particles being shot out from the neutron star's south pole
at more than 130 million miles per hour. A small arc of X-ray emission
which marks a shock wave produced by particles flowing away from the
neutron star's equator can be seen just above the neutron star. Most
intriguingly, the neutron star creates high energy particles of both matter
and anti-matter, which produce the X-ray emission seen in blue and
purple surrounding the neutron star.
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F.
Last modified November 11, 2001