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Information about Vela X-1

The data given were obtained by the Japanese Tenma satellite (Sato, et al. 1986). Astrophysicists have also determined the following that you and your students may find interesting and useful.

  • The system is composed of a neutron star in orbit around a B supergiant star that is about 34 times the size of the Sun.

  • The observed asymmetric light curve is due to enhanced X-ray scattering off of an extended region, which trails the neutron star. This region is created by X-ray ionization of the accreting material.

  • It's measured orbital velocity is 280 km/sec.

Imagine the Universe is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2012.

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