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X-Ray Astronomy

A very energetic wavelength, or frequency, of light. X-rays are more energetic than ultraviolet light, but less energetic than gamma-ray. They range in wavelength from 10^-8 meters to 10^-12 meters, and in frequency from 10^17 to 10^20 Hz. X-rays can be quite harmful to life because they are strong enough to ionize atoms and thus destroy cells. The Earth’s atmosphere shields us from all astronomical x-ray radiation. X-rays produced by people do have useful applications, however; for example, they are used to help identify broken bones and to treat certain types of cancer.

Featured Images

Auroras on Jupiterk

Polar Rings February 22, 2016

X-ray energy forms expanding rings around the black hole V404 Cygni

Big Gulp Aftermath September 15, 2015

Composite image of the Sun

Hot Sun December 24, 2014

Artist's concept of black hole binary star system in the galaxy M101

Brilliant Darkness January 16, 2014

X-ray view of a gamma-ray burst

Zapping Earth March 26, 2013

Combined optical and X-ray view of two possible black holes in the galaxy IC 342

On the Job January 8, 2013

Artist's concept of Cygnus X-1, with X-ray image shown in inset

Powerhouse August 1, 2012

A flare on the surface of the star HD 189733 blasts away the atmosphere of an or

Zapped! June 29, 2012

Simulation of a supermassive black hole disrupting a star

Messy Meal May 4, 2012

Combined X-ray, optical, and radio view of the galaxy Centaurus A

Busy Galaxy April 29, 2012

Artist's concept of stars and a gas cloud near the Milky Way's central black hol

Snack Time March 29, 2012

Optical and X-ray image of the galaxy cluster Abell 383

Brilliant Darkness March 16, 2012

Galactic Swirl December 14, 2011

NGC 3758, a system of two merging galaxies

Double Trouble June 11, 2011

X-ray view of the Carina Nebula, a stellar nursery 7,500 light-years from Earth

Star Factory May 26, 2011

X-ray and radio image of galaxy M87

Close to the Monster March 10, 2011

Visible and X-ray image of a supernova remnant in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Holiday Decoration December 16, 2010

A multi-spectral view of a supernova remnant in the Small Magellanic Cloud

Life from Death September 17, 2010

Cosmic Bullets July 20, 2010

The remains of a supernova explosion form complex loops and filaments in this co

Colorful Aftermath May 27, 2010

A "family" of young stars shows off in this combined infrared and X-ray view of

Big Family May 14, 2010

Radio Programs

Waking Up A black hole wakes up hungry September 14, 2015

Too Close Getting too close to a dark monster May 17, 2014

Andromeda Galaxy II Black holes in a neighboring galaxy November 7, 2013

Slowing Down A dead star slows down September 19, 2013

Black Hole Beacon A black hole announces its presence July 24, 2013

On Station II Brilliant targets for the space station June 24, 2013

Moon and Spica Neighbors that stir things up April 23, 2013

Guitar Nebula Strumming a few astronomical notes March 15, 2013

Nowhere to Hide Hiding in plain sight January 30, 2013

Bright Black Hole Brightness from the ultimate darkness January 29, 2013

Tiny Black Hole A record-setting black hole October 25, 2012

Star Destroyer A star loses a life-and-death struggle October 24, 2012

Cygnus X-1 A giant star vanishes from view July 31, 2012

Double Heart Twin black holes in a nearby galaxy May 29, 2012

Star in a Bottle Making a bottleful of starstuff April 12, 2012

Black Hole Bullets Bullets of hot gas from a black hole March 27, 2012

NuSTAR Dead stars tell some important tales March 13, 2012

Geminga Giving birth to a “dead” star February 11, 2012

Milky Way’s Heart IV The flashy heart of the Milky Way September 28, 2011

Too Close Getting too close to a black hole September 19, 2011

Brightest X-Ray Burst The brilliant death of a distant star June 19, 2011