X-rays can create some awe-inspiring sights and the Internet is full of negatives of pelvises containing all sorts of foreign objects that weren’t meant for “reverse biological consumption”. However, if some of those very same X ray technician experts managed to point their cameras away from their patients’ nether-regions, they might just find some equally awe-inspiring images of our massive universe created by supernovas, fallen stars and other heavenly bodies.
1. A Giant, Fiery Ball of Fire
Even though space is a vacuum where the lack of oxygen prevents fire from lasting more than a second, there are some images of massive fiery objects flying throughout the universe. Some of them are so massive and scary looking that if early astronomers spotted them before astronauts tried to beat each other to the moon, NASA would have packed a lot more urine bags for the trip.
The European Space Agency’s X-ray Multi-Mirror Mission satellite picked up just such an image. Back in 2006, the satellite came across a large “comet-like ball of gas” that moved at a rapid pace through another distant galaxy. And before you try and sound smart by asking sarcastically “Don’t you mean ‘the Sun?’”, you should know that this giant fiery object is a “thousand million times” bigger than the mass of the Sun, making it the largest object in the galaxy.
2. An Exploded Star’s “Stripes”
Stars may not look like much with the naked eye from the tiny speck of dust that the universe calls “Earth,” assuming that it can remember our name at all. Of course, if you managed to see them up-close, your jaw would drop at the awesome majesty of this giant gassy object, along with the rest of your face since the heat could melt it right off the bone.
So just imagine how one would look if it exploded. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory caught their very image with its mighty telescope and not only does it look cool, but it may also help scientists unlock some of the universe’s biggest mysteries. The remnants of the supernova emitted some low and high-energy X-rays in a surprising pattern that can “rocket particles to energies 100 times higher than those achieved by Earth’s most powerful accelerators.”
3. The “Point of no Return” in a Black Hole
No other celestial body in the universe can create as much fear and awesome power as a black hole. The very thought of being sucked into one of these mass munching heavenly bodies can make even the strongest man’s skin crawl, which probably makes for good preparation for accidentally being sucked into one since that’s probably what it feels like. NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer found a colorful but very dangerous images of suspected neutron stars and black holes and by comparing the two, they discovered the “theoretical border” where mass enters but can no longer return to the universe. The actual “event horizon” can’t be seen even with advanced technology, but the discovery of X-Ray bursts or the absence thereof were able to confirm their existence.
4. The birth and death of an Andromeda star
The Andromeda galaxy has been our neighbors for a long time and we really don’t hear much from them. When astronomers caught images of what’s going on next door with their X-ray tech, it really makes me glad that we’re not accomplices to whatever destructive stuff is going on over there.
NASA’s Newton telescope caught some very colorful and vibrant images of an Andromeda star becoming a new formation in its galaxy and almost in the same frame, the same star dying off as it shines X-rays into the coldness of space. It gets even more awe-inspiring/disturbing when you realize that the dying star is actually sucking gases out of its still-living counterpart like some kind of celestial zombie.
5. “The Hand of God”
The image capture by this X-ray satellite isn’t meant to be what it looks like but it’s awesome mass and creepy size couldn’t leave you in less awe if it was what it name describes. At least this way, it won’t convince you to completely give up “personal sinning,” if you know what I mean.
NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory captured the rare image of an exploded star that created a “rapidly-spinning 12-mile-wide star” also known as a pulsar. This pulsar puked out a large amount of electromagnetic energy that formed into what appears to be a large hand reaching out in space, earning it its celestial nickname.
6. A black hole eating another black hole
Black holes, as we already know, are the mass murdering psychopath of the celestial universe. They are the ultimate destroyer of everything that exists anywhere. They are rock, paper and scissors COMBINED.
So what happens when one black hole meets another black hole? According to an image captured by a NASA X-ray satellite, they engage in a battle to the death until one engulfs the other. The larger one swallows the other one whole the way any other object would that encounters a black hole and the merger creates a beautiful image of galactic destruction.