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Celebrating 10 Years of Suzaku

Celebrating 10 Years of Suzaku
Top Ten Science Stories

We are celebrating 10 years of the Suzaku X-ray observatory by highlighting ten science stories that exemplify the science possible through its unique capabilities. These stories fall into three general science categories.

Stories featuring clusters of galaxies

*Learn more about how Suzaku contributes to the study of galaxy clusters

X-ray emission from cluster PKS 0745-191

First Complete X-ray View of a Cluster of Galaxy

This paper published in 2009 was the first to demonstrate that Suzaku data can be used to study the tenuous X-ray emitting gas in the outskirts of clusters of galaxies.

Image: X-ray emission from galaxy cluster PKS 0745-191. (Credit: NASA/ISAS/Suzaku/M. George, et al.)

Suzaku observations of the Perseus cluster

Clumping in the outskirts of the Perseus cluster

A team of scientists studied the characteristics of the X-ray emitting gas in the Perseus cluster of galaxies from the center to the outer edge in two directions.

Image: Suzaku's observations of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. (Credits: NASA/ISAS/DSS/A. Simionescu et al.; inset: NASA/CXC/A. Fabian et al.)

Suzaku observations of the Perseus cluster

Early Cosmic Seeding

Follow-up study of the Perseus cluster, now using Suzaku data from center to the outer edge in 8 directions, showed that the fraction of iron in the X-ray emitting gas ("iron abundance") is remarkably uniform across the cluster.

Imagine: Suzaku observations of in the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. (Credit: NASA/ISAS/DSS/O. Urban et al., MNRAS)

Stories featuring supernova remnants

*Learn more about supernova remnants and how Suzaku studies them.

X-ray emission from the Jellyfish Nebula

"Fossil" Fireballs

With Suzaku data, a team based in Japan has identified several supernova remnants in which atoms are over-ionized – likely the result of an early fireball stage and rapid cooling.

Image: X-ray emission in the the Jellyfish Nebula. (Credit: JAXA/NASA/Suzaku, Tom Bash & John Fox/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF)

supernova remnant images and spectra reveal a difference
		between supernova types

Core-collapse or thermonuclear?

These authors found a systematic difference in how ionized the iron atoms are between Type Ia and core-collapse supernova remnants, presumably because the ejecta from core collapse supernovae collide with the slower wind from the progenitor star.

Image: Light curves of select supernova remenants. (Credits: NASA GSFC)

Kepler's supernova

Progenitors of Supernova Remnants

Scientists used Suzaku to measure the chromium to manganese ratios first for Tycho's supernova remnant, then for Kepler's supernova remnant, to infer the metallically (the fraction of elements other than hydrogen and helium) of the stars that became the white dwarfs that exploded.

Image: Kepler's Supernova. (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/NCSU/M.Burkey et al.; optical: DSS)

Stories featuring accretion powering X-ray emission

*Learn more about how Suzaku studies accretion-powered X-ray sources.

black hole animation still image

"Edge of Black Holes"

The fact that Suzaku was well suited to the study of reflection in AGN has been widely appreciated since the early days of the mission, and several groups applied this technique to well-known, bright AGN within the first year.

Image: Animation of accretion around a black hole. (Credit: NASA/GSFC)

artist's impression of the GX339-4 binary system

Retreat of a Black Hole's Disk

This study of a black hole binary, in which the accretion rate is known to vary by a large factor, is an example of how Suzaku data can be used to quantify how the physics of an accretion disk can move the inner edge from where general relatively predicts it should be.

Image: Artist's impression of GX 339-4. (Credit: ESO/L. Calçada)

artist's conception of hot gas around a neutron star

Probing the Exotic Matter inside Neutron Stars

These studies showed that studying the accretion disk around a neutron star could help improve our understanding of the neutron star interior.

Image: Artist depiction of hot gas around a neutron star. (Credit: NASA/Dana Berry)

image of IC 2497 and Hanny's Voorwerp

The Mystery of Hanny's Voorwerp

Using Suzaku, the authors conclude that IC 2497 was likely a quasar 70,000 years ago (or so), but no longer.

Image: IC 2497 and Hanny's Voorwerp. (Credit: WIYN/William Keel/Anna Manning)

Publication Date: July 2015


A service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA/GSFC

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