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Vela Pulsar
The uppermost image is a Wide field Optical and X-ray composite image; like the next two, it’s from the Chandra photo album.
Digital photographic editing in the lower image is by Judy Schmidt [geckzilla]
Posted April 27, 2014 on Flickr.
North is up.

  • First, check out this animation of the northwest particle jet (at the Chandra X-ray Telescope web site). The jet is waving around like water does when it’s coming out of a hose whose nozzle is being jerked up and down. The pulsar may be wobbling as it spins.
  • The X-ray data is shown in magenta.  
  • The background was made from data from the Hubble Space Telescope, shown here in fiery red. 

 Vela Pulsar Factoids [source]

  • The Vela pulsar is a neutron star that was formed when a massive star collapsed.
  • It’s about 1,000 light years from Earth;
  • It spans about 12 miles in diameter,
  • making over 11 complete rotations every second,
    faster than a helicopter rotor.
  • It spews out a jet of charged particles 0.7-light-years-long.
  • The particles are flung out along the pulsar’s rotation axis
    at 70% of the speed of light.

About the top image

The supernova that formed the Vela pulsar exploded over 10,000 years ago.

This optical image from the Anglo-Australian Observatory’s UK Schmidt telescope shows the enormous apparent size of the supernova remnant formed by the explosion. The full size of the remnant is about eight degrees across, or about 16 times the angular size of the moon.

The square near the center [a little lower and a bit to the right of center] shows the Chandra image with a larger field-of-view than used for the movie, with the Vela pulsar in the middle. [src]

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