NASA | MSFC | SAO | Chandra X-Ray Observatory | 2017 Aug 10
In 1887, American astronomer Lewis Swift discovered a glowing cloud, or nebula, that turned out to be a small galaxy about 2.2 billion light years from Earth. Today, it is known as the "starburst" galaxy IC 10, referring to the intense star formation activity occurring there.Credit: Optical: Bill Snyder Astrophotography
X-ray: NASA/CXC/UMass Lowell/S. Laycock et al.
More than a hundred years after Swift's discovery, astronomers are studying IC 10 with the most powerful telescopes of the 21st century. New observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory reveal many pairs of stars that may one day become sources of perhaps the most exciting cosmic phenomenon observed in recent years: gravitational waves. ...
Starburst galaxies like IC 10 are excellent places to search for X-ray binaries because they are churning out stars rapidly. Many of these newly born stars will be pairs of young and massive stars. The most massive of the pair will evolve more quickly and leave behind a black hole or a neutron star partnered with the remaining massive star. If the separation of the stars is small enough, an X-ray binary system will be produced.
This new composite image of IC 10 combines X-ray data from Chandra (blue) with an optical image (red, green, blue) taken by amateur astronomer Bill Snyder from the Heavens Mirror Observatory in Sierra Nevada, California. The X-ray sources detected by Chandra appear as a darker blue than the stars detected in optical light. ...
The X-Ray Binary Population of the Nearby Dwarf Starburst Galaxy
IC 10: Variable and Transient X-Ray Sources - Silas G. T. Laycock et al
- Astrophysical Journal 836(1):50 (2017 Feb 10) DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/836/1/50
arXiv.org > astro-ph > arXiv:1611.08611 > 25 Nov 2016