NASA’s X-Ray Polarization Imaging Satellite (IXPE) provides a new view of the AGC 1952 nebula, revealing stunning detail.
Located about 6,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus, NGC 1952 is the remnant of a supernova or star that exploded and has been dubbed the “Crab Nebula” because of its characteristic shape.
NGC 1952 nebula imaged by the IXPE satellite.
NGC 1952 nebula captured by the XPE satellite. (Photo: NASA).
In a new study published in the journal natural astronomy this week, astronomers used XPE to create a detailed and nuanced magnetic field map of NGC 1952revealing its inner workings more than ever, helping to solve long-standing mysteries and opening up new questions for future research.
“What makes science so beautiful and exciting is that in those brief moments you can see something no one has ever seen before.“said lead author Martin Weisskopf, astronomer emeritus at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
Launched on April 13, 2021, IXPE’s mission is to study the polarization of X-rays emitted by celestial bodies such as black holes and neutron stars. It uses three telescopes to measure the polarization of X-rays, providing information about the object’s magnetic field and other properties.
IXPE data shows The magnetic field of the Crab Nebula is similar to that of the Pulsar Wind Nebula.
This allowed the team to study not only X-rays from the nebula, but also X-rays coming from the pulsar itself or from the magnetic sphere around it. Weisskopf suggests that these X-rays come from the region of the external magnetic field, known as the “wind zone”, but I still don’t know exactly how. In the magnetic field, the shocks generated by the winds of the pulsar push the particles to move at a speed close to that of light.
IXPE’s observations of the Crab Nebula provide new insights into one of the most famous astronomical objects in the sky. The satellite’s advanced technology allows astronomers to study the nebula in unprecedented detail, revealing new information about its magnetic field and the processes that produce the high-energy particles discovered in the nebula and cosmic rays. IXPE’s mission will continue for at least two more years, during which time it will study many other celestial bodies to solve more mysteries about the universe.
Article source: VnExpress
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NASA’s X-ray Polarization Imaging (IXPE) satellite recently provided a new view of the NGC 1952 nebula, revealing incredible detail. The Way of the Earth…