radio and X-ray image of the Mouse
Credit: NASA/CXC/SAO/B.Gaensler et al. Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA

The Mouse that Soared

Neutron stars are produced by titanic stellar explosions. If the explosions are symmetric then the final force on the neutron star should be very small, resulting in a slow-moving neutron star. The image above is a VLA radio (blue) and Chandra X-ray (pink) image of a nebula, called the "Mouse", around a neutron star. The Mouse is in effect a bow shock produced as a fast moving neutron star (in the "nose" of the Mouse) plows through the interstellar medium. The neutron star is moving at a very high speed - about 1.3 million miles per hour. Evidently some explosions giving birth to neutron stars are not very symmetric, and so when neutron stars are born, at least some of them are born traveling fast.

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:20:51 EDT