X-ray Astronomy - Celestial X-ray Sources

Celestial X-ray Sources

Main article: Celestial X-ray source See also: X-1 X-ray source

The celestial sphere has been divided into 88 constellations. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) constellations are areas of the sky. Each of these contains remarkable X-ray sources. Some of them are have been identified from astrophysical modeling to be galaxies or black holes at the centers of galaxies. Some are pulsars. As with sources already successfully modeled by X-ray astrophysics, striving to understand the generation of X-rays by the apparent source helps to understand the Sun, the universe as a whole, and how these affect us on Earth. Constellations are an astronomical device for handling observation and precision independent of current physical theory or interpretation. Astronomy has been around for a long time. Physical theory changes with time. With respect to celestial X-ray sources, X-ray astrophysics tends to focus on the physical reason for X-ray brightness, whereas X-ray astronomy tends to focus on their classification, order of discovery, variability, resolvability, and their relationship with nearby sources in other constellations.

Within the constellations Orion and Eridanus and stretching across them is a soft X-ray "hot spot" known as the Orion-Eridanus Superbubble, the Eridanus Soft X-ray Enhancement, or simply the Eridanus Bubble, a 25° area of interlocking arcs of Hα emitting filaments. Soft X-rays are emitted by hot gas (T ~ 2–3 MK) in the interior of the superbubble. This bright object forms the background for the "shadow" of a filament of gas and dust. The filament is shown by the overlaid contours, which represent 100 micrometre emission from dust at a temperature of about 30 K as measured by IRAS. Here the filament absorbs soft X-rays between 100 and 300 eV, indicating that the hot gas is located behind the filament. This filament may be part of a shell of neutral gas that surrounds the hot bubble. Its interior is energized by ultraviolet (UV) light and stellar winds from hot stars in the Orion OB1 association. These stars energize a superbubble about 1200 lys across which is observed in the visual (Hα) and X-ray portions of the spectrum.

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