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Contact: Megan Watzke
mwatzke@cfa.harvard.edu
617-496-7998
Chandra X-ray Center

Multiwavelength Image of Circinus X-1

Caption: The youngest member of an important class of objects called X-ray binaries has been found using data from Chandra (blue) and the Australia Compact Telescope Array (purple). X-ray binaries consist of a dense object -- either a black hole or a neutron star -- in orbit with a star like the Sun. Researchers found that the neutron star in Circinus X-1 is less than 4,600 years old, making the X-ray binary than any other known in the Milky Way. This discovery allows astronomers to study a critical phase after a supernova explosion and the birth of a neutron star.

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison/S. Heinz et al; Optical: DSS; Radio: CSIRO/ATNF/ATCA

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Related news release: Supernova blast provides clues to age of binary star system


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