CXC: Chandra Finds Stellar Duos Banished from Galaxies

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CXC: Chandra Finds Stellar Duos Banished from Galaxies

Post by bystander » Tue May 28, 2019 4:54 pm

Chandra Finds Stellar Duos Banished from Galaxies
NASA | MSFC | SAO | Chandra X-ray Observatory | 2019 May 28
This image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows the region around NGC 1399 and NGC 1404, two of the largest galaxies in the Fornax galaxy cluster. Located at a distance of about 60 million light years, Fornax is one of the closest galaxy clusters to Earth. This relative proximity allows astronomers to study the Fornax cluster in greater detail than most other galaxy clusters.

A new study is an example of what can be achieved when telescopes like Chandra study the Fornax cluster for long periods of time. By combining 15 days' worth of Chandra observing of Fornax spread out between 1999 and 2015, astronomers discovered that pairs of stars had been expelled the galaxies in the cluster.

Astronomers refer to pairs of stars orbiting around each other as a "binary" or "binary system." These stellar pairs can consist of combinations of stars like our Sun, or more exotic and denser varieties such as neutron stars or even black holes. Neutron stars form when a massive star explodes as a supernova and the core of the star collapses onto itself. Under certain conditions, these gargantuan blasts are not symmetric. The recoil caused by this asymmetry can kick the star with such force that it is expelled from the galaxy where it resides. These new Chandra results show that sometimes a neutron star's companion star is forced to exit the galaxy as well. ...

Chandra Detection of Intra-cluster X-ray Sources in Fornax ~ Xiangyu Jin et al
CXC Press Release: Chandra Finds Stellar Duos Banished from Galaxies
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