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Sweeping X-ray Imaging Survey Of Dying Stars Is ‘Uncharted Territory’


The death throes of dying stars are the focus of a sweeping new survey using NASA’s Chandra X-ray satellite observatory.

More than two dozen astronomers have aligned their research goals to use Chandra to image a set of dying stars in the neighborhood of the Sun. The resulting X-ray images of these dying stars—called planetary nebulae—are shedding light on the violent “end game” of a Sun-like star’s life.

Both the previous and upcoming series of observations are part of the Chandra X-ray Survey of Planetary Nebulae (ChanPlaNS). Leaders in planetary nebula astronomy from seven countries joined forces to win the large Chandra observing time awards.

“An X-ray survey of this kind is completely uncharted territory in the planetary nebula world,” Kastner adds. “Astronomers working in this area agreed that we need large quantities of time to look at as many planetary nebulae as possible, specifically with Chandra.”

Full Story: http://www.rit.edu/news/release.php?id=49444

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