PSR B1509-58:  A Young Pulsar Shows its Hand

A small, dense object only twelve miles in diameter is responsible for
this beautiful X-ray nebula that spans 150 light years. At the center of
this image made by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory is a very young and
powerful pulsar,
known as PSR B1509-58, or B1509 for short. 

The pulsar is a rapidly
spinning neutron star which is spewing energy out into the space around
it to create complex and intriguing structures, including one that
resembles a large cosmic hand. In this image, the lowest energy X-rays
that Chandra detects are colored red, the medium range is green, and the
most energetic ones are blue.

Astronomers think that B1509 is about 1700 years old
as measured in Earth’s time-frame (referring to when events are
observable at Earth) and is located about 17,000 light years away…

(read more: Chandra X-Ray Observatory)


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