Neutron Star Discovered Where a Black Hole Was Expected

Chandra_307_1024

chandra_307 November 2nd, 2005

Credit: NASA/CXC/UCLA/M.Muno et al.

Several of the stars in Westerlund 1 (optical image left) have the mass of about 40 suns, which means that they will race through their evolution and form neutron stars or black holes in a few million years. A search of the cluster with Chandra (X-ray image right) found no evidence of black holes. However, astronomers did find a neutron star (CXO J164710.2-455216). Because extremely massive stars evolve more rapidly than less massive ones, and the progenitor of the neutron star has already exploded as a supernova, it must have had a mass greater than 40 suns. This discovery may severely limit the range of stellar masses that lead to the formation of stellar black holes.

Image Source: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/wd1/

Curator: Chandra X-ray Observatory, Cambridge, MA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html

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Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Westerlund 1
Subject - Milky Way
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Neutron Star
Star > Grouping > Cluster

Distance

Universescale1
16,000 light years
Chandra_307_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 16h 47m 7.8s
DEC = -45° 51’ 0.9”
Orientation
North is 0.1° CW
Field of View
4.9 x 4.5 arcminutes
Constellation
Ara

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Chandra (ACIS) X-ray (X-ray) 826.7 pm
Arrow_left_red ESO (WFI) Optical (I-band) 784.0 nm
Arrow_left_green ESO (WFI) Optical (R-band) 650.0 nm
Arrow_left_blue ESO (WFI) Optical (B-band) 550.0 nm
Spectrum_xray1
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_blue
Chandra_307_1280
×
ID
307
Subject Category
B.3.1.9.   B.3.6.4.  
Subject Name
Westerlund 1
Credits
NASA/CXC/UCLA/M.Muno et al.
Release Date
2005-11-02
Lightyears
16,000.0
Redshift
16,000.0
Reference Url
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/wd1/
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Chandra, ESO, ESO, ESO
Instrument
ACIS, WFI, WFI, WFI
Color Assignment
Blue, Red, Green, Blue
Band
X-ray, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
X-ray, I-band, R-band, B-band
Central Wavelength
0.8267, 784, 650, 550
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
2000.0
Reference Value
251.782432762, -45.8502590547
Reference Dimension
2634.0, 2396.0
Reference Pixel
967.297592418, 1568.51892018
Scale
-3.115992e-05, 3.115992e-05
Rotation
-0.05011314047
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
World Coordinate System resolved using PinpointWCS 0.9.0 revision 213+ by the Chandra X-ray Center
Creator (Curator)
Chandra X-ray Observatory
URL
http://chandra.harvard.edu
Name
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Email
cxcpub@cfa.harvard.edu
Telephone
617.496.7941
Address
60 Garden St.
City
Cambridge
State/Province
MA
Postal Code
02138
Country
USA
Rights
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/image_use.html
Publisher
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center
Publisher ID
chandra
Resource ID
wd1.tif
Resource URL
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2005/wd1/wd1.tif
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2012-07-26T13:27:32-04:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
16,000 light years