Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
White Dwarfs
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
Sky Map
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
More Images of Delta Orionis
Click for large jpg X-ray
Jpeg, Tif
Click for large jpg Optical
Jpeg, Tif

X-ray & Optical Images of Delta Orionis
Delta Orionis is a complex star system that contains five stars in total. Two of those stars are in a close orbit where one passes in front of another from the vantage point of Earth, which helps astronomers learn more about their properties. The massive stars in this pair are so bright that their radiation blows powerful winds of stellar material away, affecting the chemical and physical properties of the gas in their host galaxies. Astronomers observed this system for the equivalent of nearly six days with Chandra to better understand these relatively rare but important stars.
(Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/GSFC/M.Corcoran et al.; Optical: Eckhard Slawik)

Click for large jpg Labeled
Jpeg, Tif

Illustration of Delta Orionis
This artist's illustration depicts the system of Delta Orionis A. In the center, two closely separated stars orbit around each other every 5.7 days and this pair is known as Delta Orionis Aa. The more massive, or primary, star in Delta Orionis Aa weighs about 25 times the mass of the Sun, whereas the less massive, or secondary star, weighs about ten times the mass of the Sun. The chance alignment of this pair of stars allows one star to pass in front of the other during every orbit from the vantage point of Earth. This special class of star system is known as an "eclipsing binary," and it gives astronomers a direct way to measure the mass and size of the stars. Meanwhile a third star, dubbed Delta Orionis Ab, orbits the eclipsing binary with a period of over 400 years.
(Credit: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss)

Return to Delta Orionis (November 12, 2015)