Glowing Stellar Cluster Cloaks a Neutron Star

 

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This image from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope shows the dusty skeleton of a collapsed star engulfing a nearby family of stars. Scientists think the stars in the image are part of a stellar cluster in which a supernova exploded.


The white source near the center of the image is a dense, rapidly rotating neutron star, or "pulsar," left behind after a core-collapse supernova explosion. The pulsar generates a wind of high-energy particles — seen in the Chandra data — that expands into the surrounding environment, illuminating the material ejected in the supernova explosion.

The composite image of G54.1+0.3 shows X-rays from Chandra in blue, and data from Spitzer in green (shorter wavelength infrared) and red-yellow (longer wavelength infrared).

The Daily Galaxy via NASA/Chandra/Spitzer space telescopes

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