Stars NASA Videos

Black Hole Eats Star, Beams Signal to Earth
On March 28, 2011, NASA's Swift detected intense X-ray flares thought to be caused by a black hole devouring a star. In one model, illustrated here, a sun-like star on an eccentric orbit plunges too close to its galaxy's central black hole. About half of the star's mass feeds an accretion disk around the black hole, which in turn powers a particle jet that beams radiation toward Earth

Black Hole Hunter
A large number of galaxies are hiding black holes that we can't detect, and NASA's NuSTAR will use X-ray vision to find them.

Chandra Captures Neutron Star Action
This movie from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory shows a fast moving jet of particles produced by a rapidly rotating neutron star, and may provide new insight into the nature of some of the densest matter in the universe. The star of this movie is the Vela pulsar, a neutron star that was formed when a massive star collapsed. The Vela pulsar is about 1,000 light years from Earth, spansis about 12 miles in diameter, and makes over 11 complete rotations every second, faster than a helicopter rotor. As the pulsar whips around, it spews out a jet of charged particles that race out along the pulsarís rotation axis at about 70% of the speed of light. In this still image from the movie, the location of the pulsar and the 0.7-light-year-long jet are labeled. The Chandra data shown in the movie, containing 8 images obtained between June and September 2010, suggest that the pulsar may be slowly wobbling, or precessing, as it spins. The shape and the motion of the Vela jet look strikingly like a ...

Colliding Neutron Stars
Discussion of what happens when neutron stars collide.

Fermi Finds Youthful Pulsar Among Ancient Stars
In three years, NASA's Fermi has detected more than 100 gamma-ray pulsars, but something new has appeared. Among a type of pulsar with ages typically numbering a billion years or more, Fermi has found one that appears to have been born only millions of years ago. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Fermi Proves Supernova Remnants Make Cosmic Rays
The husks of exploded stars produce some of the fastest particles in the cosmos. New findings by NASA's Fermi show that two supernova remnants accelerate protons to near the speed of light. The protons interact with nearby interstellar gas clouds, which then emit gamma rays. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

McNeil's Nebula Protostar Flaunts its X-ray Spots
During outbursts, the infant star in McNeil's Nebula may brighten by 100 times at X-ray energies. In this animation, based on findings by NASA's Chandra Observatory, the Japan/U.S. Suzaku spacecraft, and Europe's XMM-Newton satellite, magnetic fields drive powerful flows onto the star, creating two hot spots that produce the high-energy emission.

Swift Monitors a Massive Binary's Clashing Winds
O-type stars are among the most massive and hottest known, pounding their surroundings with intense ultraviolet light and powerful outflows called stellar winds. NASA's Swift and ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatories took part in a 2011 campaign to monitor the interaction of two O stars bound together in the same binary system: Cygnus OB2 #9.

Webb Telescope- Planetary Evolution
Stars and planets form in the dark, inside vast, cold clouds of gas and dust. The James Webb Space Telescope's large mirror and infrared sensitivity will let astronomers peer inside dusty knots where the youngest stars and planets are forming

When Neutron Stars Collide
State-of-the-art supercomputer models show that merging neutron stars can power a short gamma-ray burst.

WISE Finds Few Brown Dwarfs Close to Home
NASA's WISE telescope has discovered that there are fewer brown dwarfs in our solar neighborhood than previously thought.

X-ray Nova Reveals New Black Hole
An X-ray outburst caught by NASA's Swift on Sept. 16, 2012, resulted from a flood of gas plunging toward a previously unknown black hole. Gas flowing from a sun-like star collects into a disk around the black hole. Normally, this gas would steadily spiral inward. But in this system, named Swift J1745-26, the gas collects for decades before suddenly surging inward.