The Unexpected
The Unexpected
Normal Stars
Carina Nebula
Milky Way

Expected & Detected

As anticipated, high-resolution X-ray images have provided new insight into the

supernova process, the effect supernova shock waves have on the surrounding

interstellar gas, the acceleration of particles by rotating neutron stars, and enabled

the discovery of many stellar-mass black holes.

The discovery of long plumes of silicon-rich gas in the Cassiopeia A supernova

remnant (SNR), and iron-rich gas on the remnant's outer edge suggest that a

non-spherical explosion turned much of the original star "inside-out."


A neutron star discovered in the center of the Cassiopeia A SNR was observed to

undergo a rapid drop in temperature, likely caused by the formation of a bizarre

neutron superfluid state of matter deep inside the neutron star.

A pattern of X-ray "stripes" was found in the remains of an exploded star and may

provide the first direct evidence that a cosmic event can accelerate particles to

energies a hundred times higher than achieved by the most powerful particle

accelerator on Earth.

The discovery of an X-ray emitting cloud 150 light years across that has been

created by a rapidly spinning neutron star which is spewing magnetic fields and

particles into surrounding space.