NASA spots explosion of X-rays glowing in the universe

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NASA peers deep into the cosmos at the bright, leftover cinders of exploded stars, called pulsars.

Now, the space agency has released a map-like image showing loops and arcs of X-ray energy — invisible to the naked eye — radiating from these dense cores of once massive stars.

The most radiant spots are the suspected pulsars, repeatedly blasting X-ray energy into space. These trails of energy, or electromagnetic radiation, reveal the powerful sources of these X-rays.

“Even with minimal processing, this image reveals the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant about 90 light-years across and thought to be 5,000 to 8,000 years old,” said NASA’s Keith Gendreau, who leads the imaging mission called NICER, in a statement. “We’re gradually building up a new X-ray image of the whole sky, and it’s possible NICER’s nighttime sweeps will uncover previously unknown sources.”  Read more…

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