It was published as a study in the journal Science, and concluded that the B-ring and most of the A-ring must be opaque to extreme ultraviolet radiation
. Meanwhile, the effect was not observed for the C and D rings, which meant they allowed ultraviolet radiation to pass through.
The researchers used special filters to see where and how the galaxy's extreme ultraviolet radiation
, or UV light, was interacting with nearby gas.
There, molecules respond to extremely brief laser pulses by emitting low-energy X rays, also called extreme ultraviolet radiation
, into the scanner's detectors.
The area near the compact star's magnetic pole is heated to 100 million*C and emits copious amounts of very-high-energy X rays and extreme ultraviolet radiation
. Many of these highly magnetic interacting binaries contain compact stars that rotate remarkably fast, from once every 10 minutes to 30 times every second.
While extreme ultraviolet radiation
from the sun is the dominant mechanism that causes the thermosphere to "breathe," the new CU-Boulder study indicates high-speed wind from the sun triggers independent breathing episodes by creating geomagnetic disturbances, heating the thermosphere and altering its density.
Traveling from the sun at the speed of light, the X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation
resulting from the flare from sunspot 486 took a little more than 8 minutes to reach Earth.
In that case, researchers concluded that no organisms were involved but extreme ultraviolet radiation
hitting Mars had broken down the radioactively labeled molecules into carbon dioxide.
In addition to examining known sources of extreme ultraviolet radiation
, the observatory may have an unexpected payoff -- the possibility of discovering a new class of objects that radiates only at these wavelengths.
Mapping the intensity of extreme ultraviolet radiation
throughout the sky should prove particularly useful for studying stars that have evolved into smaller objects called white dwarfs.