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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

Black holes around a ring galaxy

Ring Around the Galaxy September 8, 2018

X-ray view of Cassiopeia A

It's Elemental January 2, 2018

The Crescent Nebula

Colorful Demise December 14, 2017

Multi-wavelength view of NGC 6946, the Fireworks Galaxy

Fireworks Factory August 23, 2017

Artist's concept of 47 Tucanae X9, a likely black hole-white dwarf binary

Living Dangerously March 16, 2017

NICER X-Ray Telescope Attached to International Space Station

A 'Nicer' View of the Sky February 21, 2017

X-Ray image of VLA J2130+12

Slow Eater December 15, 2016

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

Black Hole Bonanza Black holes by the hundreds August 31, 2018

Beta Ceti The imprint of a magnetic “fossil” January 12, 2018

Doomed Star A star faces a fate worse than death May 9, 2017

Black-Hole Feast A black hole feasts on a big star April 26, 2017

Vela X-1 A giant X-ray machine in the sky September 19, 2016

Scorpius X-1 Diagnosing a dead star July 22, 2016

Herbert Friedman Watching the Sun with a “rockoon” June 21, 2016

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