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Using the MIDI instrument at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert of Chile, the research team obtained an unprecedented clear view of the warm dust in the nucleus of the Circinus
, in contrast, seems to flash only once per rotation.
The team discovered the age of this record-breaking pair, named Circinus
X-1, by using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which revealed faint remnants of the supernova explosion that created the neutron star.
Iniial results from KAT-7 of the X-ray binary Circinus
X-1 will be presented.
LOCATED WITHIN the southern Milky Way, and somewhat overshadowed by neighboring Centaurus, is tiny Circinus
, fourth-smallest of the 88 constellations.
Heinz and his colleagues quickly mounted a series of follow-up observations with the space-based Chandra and XMM-Newton telescopes to discover four bright rings of X-rays, like ripples in a cosmic pond, all around the neutron star at the heart of Circinus
The remnant, called RCW 86, is located about 8200 light-years away towards the constellation of Circinus
(the Drawing Compass).
The shape of the Circinus
constellation resembles a long, acute-angled triangle with Alpha Circini pointing SW Beta and Gamma Circini completes the shape of the image, approximately 7 degrees NW.
West of Triangulum Australe is Circinus
. It may be the fourth-smallest constellation, with an area of just 93 square degrees, but its proximity to Alpha Centauri and its distinctive shape make Circinus
a star figure that you can find with relative ease.